Connected Devices

Roku rises above the rest in connected TV market: study

While the top-performing brands hold on to 86% of the market, newer streaming devices with different functionality could shake things up.
August 25, 2015

The market for connected TV devices is heating up with Roku developing a significant lead over its competition, according to research from Dallas-based research firm Parks Associates.

The study found 20% of U.S. households with broadband Internet connections (2.49 million people Americans have access to broadband Internet, according to U.S. census data) owned at least one connected TV device as of year-end 2014. Looking at sales and shipping information, it determined Roku, Google, Amazon and Apple led the market in terms of sales, and Roku outshone its competitors.

In terms of devices purchased in 2014, Roku led with a 34% share of the market, followed next by Google, makers of the Chromecast, at 23%. The exact number of units sold was not included in the survey.

Amazon, new to the market in 2014 with its Fire TV Stick, overtook Apple for third place. The exact percentages of Apple and Amazon were not available in the survey results, but, with top four brands reportedly sharing 86% of the market, Apple and Amazon together represent 29% of the connected connected TV market.

The study looked not only at sales receipts and shipping information but also ongoing usage of the devices throughout the entirety of 2014. In that category, Roku devices were used by 37% of households with devices, Google (19%), Apple (17%) and Amazon(14%).

The survey estimated that by 2019 96 million connected TV devices will be sold globally.

There are some new devices that have entered or are prepared to enter the market, such as the Intel Compute Stick (which is not primarily a streaming device but has streaming features) or the upcoming Lenovo Cast (which has no set release date yet). But research director Barbara Kraus said in order to beat out the four biggest players, new devices will have to bring something different to the table.

“Devices with additional functionality such as the Intel Compute Stick may be a sign of things to come, where streaming is not the primary function but an extra feature to provide additional value,” she said in a statement.

The devices vary in cost — Apple TV’s price was recently lowered to $69, but it’s still a bit pricier than the Chromecast and Fire TV Stick, both $39. The Roku streaming stick costs $49, while the full Roku connected devices cost as much as $99.

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