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Parks: Roku Retains Top Position in Domestic Streaming Media Device Market

17 May, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel

86 million streaming media devices to be sold by 2019

Streaming media device manufacturer Roku is still the most popular streaming media player, accounting for 30% of devices purchased from the first quarter 2015 to the first quarter 2016, according to new data from Parks Associates.

Amazon moved into a tie with Google at 22% of sales. Along with Apple TV (20%), the four major players account for 94% of the streaming media players purchased, up from 86% in 2014.

Roku helped usher in the streaming video market in 2008 with a branded Netflix streaming device. It markets devices OEM to Sky in the United Kingdom (Now TV) and Charter Spectrum TV Plus in the U.S., among others.

Parks said device makers have successfully sold streaming media players to consumers by offering easy access to a variety of content streams, as well as frequent updates that add the latest innovations. Amazon in particular has benefited by promoting its Fire TV devices in conjunction with the company’s Prime Video service as well as streams from HBO, Showtime and other premium offerings.

“Thirty-six percent of U.S. broadband households have at least one streaming media player, up from 27% last year,” Barbara Kraus, director of research at Parks Associates, said in a statement.

While Apple TV remains in fourth place among the four major brands, it had the largest increase in unit sales year-over-year, primarily due to its long-awaited new version, launched in the fourth quarter of 2015. Its share of sales in 2015 was 50% higher than its share in 2014. Amazon also had a substantially higher share of unit sales in 2015.

“Roku and Amazon benefit from multiple form factors — both offer boxes and sticks,” Kraus said.

Indeed, sticks accounted for 50% of all unit sales in 2015. Approximately 33% of Roku sales were sticks, and roughly 75% of Amazon sales were sticks. Apple and Roku were essentially tied for selling the most devices.

Parks estimates that 86 million streaming media players will be sold globally in 2019. In 2014, 34% of U.S. broadband households that bought a streaming media device bought a Roku, 23% bought a Google Chromecast, 16% bought an Amazon Fire TV, and 13% bought an Apple TV.

The research firm contends the market could soon have a new player in the market following Rovi’s acquisition of DVR pioneer TiVo. 

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