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NPD: U.S. Homes Add 6 Million Streaming Media Players in Q2

3 Sep, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

U.S. homeowners added 6 million streaming media players through the end of the second quarter (ended June 30), increasing market penetration of the devices to 17%, according to new data from The NPD Group. Market penetration is projected to reach 39% of U.S. Internet homes by the beginning of 2017.

The rise in streaming media, underscored by subscriber growth at Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video and Hulu Plus, is rapidly changing the home entertainment and network broadcast landscapes. Increasing numbers of consumers watch recorded content via TV Everywhere platforms and SVOD delivered to the TV from the Internet through a streaming media device.

NPD said that while the market continues to be led by Apple TV, its market share actually decreased 7% to 39% due to the inclusion of new device Amazon Fire TV. Runner-up Roku saw its market share decline 5% to 28%, followed by Google Chromecast at 16%. Not included in the study were connected Blu-ray Disc players.

“Content is what’s going to bring these devices to the next level. It’s not just necessary to be able to stream popular video services such as Netflix and Hulu. Device manufacturers must also have the ability to attract a wide array of content owners and developers to build apps for their platforms — which is the direction Apple, Roku, Google, and Amazon are taking with their devices,” John Buffone, executive director of connected intelligence at NPD, said in a statement.

Despite the added access to content, streaming media device unit prices are falling. The average price of a streaming media player dropped from $88 in 2012 to $61 in the first half of 2014, according to NPD. The decline in pricing was initiated by Google with its $35 Chromecast, followed by Roku bowing an HDMI streaming stick for $49. 

“Affordability can drive impulse buying, rapid increases in ownership, and in turn it is increasing the number of homes with access to apps on TV,” Buffone said. “It’s quickly becoming a great new channel content owners can use to grow the audience for popular TV shows, movies and more.”

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