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Roku Continues to Lead Streaming Media Device Market

26 Jul, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Roku, which helped create the subscription streaming video market with Netflix 10 years ago, continues to spearhead consumer use of Internet-connected media devices.

This year, 168 million people in the U.S. will use an Internet-connected TV, up 10% from 2016, according to new data from eMarketer.

The research firm estimates 38.9 million Americans will use a Roku device at least once a month, up 19.3% from 2016. As a result, the device will capture 23.1% of all connected TV users.

“As the only major market participant not affiliated with a content or TV device platform, Roku has used its neutrality to strike deals with a wide range of partners, including smart TV makers, over-the-top (OTT) service providers and social media companies,” Paul Verna, principal video analyst at eMarketer, said in a statement.

Roku’s closet domestic competitor is Google Chromecast, which will have 36.9 million users this year, equating to 22.0% of connected TV users. Amazon Fire TV will have 35.8 million users in 2017, or 21.3% of connected TV users.

Apple TV, which will have 21.3 million users this year, equivalent to 12.7% of domestic connected TV users, will continue to lose market share as competitors add from 20 million and 30 million users by the end of 2021. Apple TV will add less than 4 million.

“Apple TV has been held back by the absence of a compelling content offering, a lack of support for increasingly popular Amazon video content and a much higher price bracket [nearly three times] than its competitors,” Verna said.

Meanwhile, smart TVs, which have connectivity built in and need no secondary device, are the largest single subgroup within the media device category.

Smart TV users will make up nearly half of all connected TV viewers, with 81.2 million users in 2017. That's a 31% increase from last year.

“Essentially, more people are buying smart TVs than previously anticipated, which holds back demand for third-party connectivity devices," Verna said.

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