Google Chromecast now beating hobbyist Apple in the TV streaming market

Parks Associates announced updated streaming media device data today showing 10% of U.S. broadband households purchased one of these devices, either a streaming media player or stick, in the first three quarters of 2014, already matching sales from 2013. The research finds Roku is still the leading brand with 29% of sales, but Google Chromecast (20%) has supplanted Apple TV (17%) in second place. New entrant Amazon Fire TV is in fourth place with 10%. Consumer content choices are also increasing, with Showtime and Sony planning to launch their own OTT video services to compete with Netflix and HBO.

“Nearly 50% of video content that U.S. consumers watch on a TV set is non-linear, up from 38% in 2010, and it is already the majority for people 18-44,” said Barbara Kraus, Director, Research, Parks Associates. “The market is changing rapidly to account for these new digital media habits. Roku now offers a streaming stick, and Amazon’s Fire TV streaming stick leaves Apple as the only top player without a stick product in the streaming media device category.”

Roku leads the U.S. market for streaming media devices, but Apple was ahead in global 2013 sales for streaming media players, as reported by Parks Associates in July. In 2013, Roku accounted for nearly one-half of streaming media players (46%) purchased in the U.S., while Apple had 26%. Both Roku and Apple have seen their shares of purchase decline with the launches of Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV.

Streaming media device market share 2012-2014, Parks Associates

“More than 25% of U.S. broadband households will have a streaming media player by 2015, and by 2017, there will be nearly 50 million streaming media players sold globally,” Kraus said. “Their low cost will make streaming media devices popular gifts this holiday season, and the race to meet consumer demands for online video will make this product category a very hot topic at the 2015 International CES.”

Source: Parks Associates

MacDailyNews Take: Hardly surprising given the status of Apple TV. Looks like adding the likes of Qello, Crackle and a smattering of other random shit every three months or so isn’t driving many sales. Shocker.

51 Comments

    1. Yeah, maybe… But it surprises me that whenever these “stats” are published they are always accepted as gospel, despite the almost universal track record of these so called research companies lying, cheating, stacking results to favour whoever funds them.

      1. Don’t worry about them futzing with the numbers. What does it really prove if they are. Apple will still be making the money no matter what these people say. They’re only fooling themselves and some foolish investors.

        Apple knows full well that AppleTV without control of the content isn’t going to get them very far. Apple can put the best hardware in the world into AppleTV and they’re not going to be able to corner the market. Once they control the content then that will be something very big on the order of Apple Pay.

        How important to Apple is the AppleTV? Probably not very important at all at this point in time. So what if Roku is tops. Should Apple actively try to put little Roku out of business? Is it that big a victory the Chromecast has larger market share? A $35 device against the $99 Apple TV. Google has to sell more than twice as many to make up the revenue Apple is getting. These numbers are interesting but hardly tell the entire story. I doubt Apple is sweating these numbers at all. Apple could buy Roku if all it wanted was streaming box market share. Surely no one actually believes that Apple couldn’t build a more powerful streaming box than Amazon or Roku. It all comes down to content and that’s where Apple needs to win.

        1. Why is Apple waiting for TV content?

          Apple should make TVs about apps, games, room-wide Facetime, and greater integration with Macs and iOS devices.

          After all, and iPhone is mostly not used as a phone. Apple Watches are much more than watches. Apple TV should be about so much more than just watching television.

          When people start using their big screens for lots of stuff besides television, the content producers will suddenly bend over backward in an effort to get front and center again.

          1. I think that’s what Apple is waiting for — the next quantum leap forward in TV viewing, not just some alternative way to stream content. Anyone can do that (apparently), but the real difference-maker in how we interact with our TVs will be a complete change in how we use and access content. These sticks are just wireless cables, nothing more than your cable company.

        2. You certainly make up enough excuses for Apple. How about just letting things fall where they fall? If Apple was kicking ass you’d be all over it. Apple does quite well but not perfect in all phases of their endeavors. But they certainly don’t need you running interference for them. Shut up and go sit in the corner. You are annoying. Take your ball and go home Whiny.

    2. what about factoring in, all those who have, iPads who watch streaming video even through cable enable apps like rogers and bell video on demand… these folks don’t need a Apple Tv box — so in fact Apples numbers could be much hire than roku

  1. Apple needs to leverage the incredible popularity of iPhone 6. It’s the synergy of iOS8 and Yosemite that should be able to drive Apple TV. The Apple Watch and iPhone would make a great remote and Siri vehicle.

  2. I have to lay some blame on Apple TV not selling as fast as it should on Apple.

    Apple doesn’t market it at all while the others market their products ferociously (maybe not TV ads but in flyers, big box retail tie-ups etc).

    Like Macs which I’ve complained before, Apple doesn’t market many of it’s products.

    There hasn’t been a serious mac marketing campaign since Mac Pc guy (66 different ads in 4 years) which stopped in 2009 in spite of Thunderbolt, Yosemite, Mac manufacturing in USA, cheaper mac minis and iMacs, Retina iMacs, advanced MacBooks etc and macs boosting the bottom line last financial quarter…
    (the ‘Stickies’ mac campaign petered out quickly and I never saw it on TV in my area)

    Why doesn’t apple market so many of it’s products while running plenty of Bono iTunes ads on TV (I saw dozens of repeats of those ads)– the bono promotion which according to rumours cost 100 million – is a MYSTERY to me….

      1. Totally agree, if anything stops the Apple steamroller it will be those moments of arrogance or penny pinching where it shouldn’t while busy preferring to spend its money buying shares. Let’s hope that the malaise that brought about a sudden wake up call on the iPhone will transform into a killer Apple TV update sooner rather than later. But playing catch up wont always work however if the opposition gets it right for once.

        1. Sadly, Apple seems to be its own worst enemy at times. Not seriously advertising the hell out of Continuity, soldered in RAM and dropping quad core CPUs in the updated Mac Mini, letting Jony Ive anyone near software design, it’s amazing Apple is doing as well as it is. They’re making serious mistakes and if they don’t get out of their current mindset that their farts smell like roses, they’re going to lose the marketshare it took so long and so much hard work to gain.

    1. I think TV always has been a stopgap measure, a way to get people who really want an Apple-branded streaming device. I think Apple has far bigger plans for TV/content than simply wirelessly transmitting it from your router, not much different than your cable company does with wires.

    1. 40 dollar device barely outsells device costing over twice as much. Victory? Shouldn’t they be selling WAY more than that especially considering that Apple’s not even really promoting the AppleTV?

      1. What do you suppose the margin is on an Apple TV? $30, maybe? How about on a Chromecast? $10, maybe. You’d have to sell a heck of a lot of sticks to make as much money. It’s only a little different than giving away Android. Google doesn’t sell Chromecast to make a bunch of money. And it looks to me like Chromecast took more marketshare from Roku than Apple.

        As far as Apple’s long term strategy, not one commentor on MDN really knows. I don’t see any reason not to wait and see what happens in 2015.

        1. Waiting and seeing is becoming a little too common with Apple these days, always seems to be falling behind in one product as it pushes head with another, let’s hope the opposition don’t make a killer product that can’t be leap frogged when Apple can be bothered to re take an interest/initiative.

      1. All Chromecast and Fire Stick are is wireless cable boxes. They don’t do anything really to affect how content is delivered. I’m confident Apple is working on something much more transformative than the ability to wirelessly deliver content from your router to your TV.

  3. Now Apple gave up another spot? Not surprised because they are hooked in getting content. Right now they have enough resources to over run the market. Put a A7 in there 802.11ac wifi, Siri open it up to developers to make a App Store. If is not a hobby anymore at least show it. It is going on 3 years since the last refresh. What are you waiting for Apple?

  4. Whoopdie-doo. Who really cares? First of all, this is just US marketshare. Second just what exactly is the installed base for each? And how much use on average does each platform get?

    Once again, people concentrate on the wrong data points.

    AppleTV always has been a device for streaming iTunes content to your TV – Oh snap! Wait for the lawsuit on this one; Apple trying to artificially lock FairPlay iTunes video content to AppleTV.

  5. Unfortunately, we will never have THE ONE box we all want. The “end all, be all” solution.
    My fear is that if Apple can not get the content deals straightened out it might just give up on this.
    Still don’t understand why Apple can not at least have a set top box that we can run apps on. Let the developers get a head start for whatever Apple is wanting to do.

  6. I bought and still own all three Apple TVs. I agree with most, it’s not a hobby anymore but you are doing nothing about it. Come on Apple, wake up. There is a lot of money to be made here. Another thing that bothers me is Apple should take some of their billions and advertise more. That could alone make them even bigger than they are. I do believe greed has caught up to them. It does with most successful companies. You get pressure to just make a profit and loose sight of the big picture. They better wake up in some areas. Remember the old giant? MS.

  7. A quick point. Everyone get off the profit shit. How about we concentrate on an AppleTV that will make the rest say, what was that? I know companies have to make a profit, I’ve owned four of them through the years. Apple either shit or get off the pot with ATV. Profits are good, I’m 53 and retired, but so is innovation of products. You are either for something or your against it. What is it Apple?

  8. Apple tv 2 was great and sold like crazy becasue it could be jailbroken to run XBMC and therefor get all the movies/tv /sports you want for free.However the apple tv 2 is horribly slow compared to the new media boxes. The apple tv 3 doesnt run any programs not approved by apple and its still lagging behind now as the streaming media box market is fast changing with new units coming out almost weekly.

    Personally i have a store and i sell many media streaming boxes. 1. The chromecast is nothing but a way to push media from an android device to your tv it doesnt do anything on its own. So why are we comparing it to the Apple TV?
    2. The fire tv is killer. This thing wipes the floor with my apple tv 2. PLus as an amazon prime memberfor shipping now i get unlimtied cloud storage of my photos. I get access to tons of free tv and movies in prime (personally i dont use it as i get all i want in XBMC But my kids like it and they love the voice search).
    The fire tv also offers prime music and i can upload my own music to stream from the cloud. Also It has new apps every week for it and games (Something i had long hoped for on the ATV)
    The fire Stick well its ok its nothing super but if you want a cheap way to run amazon, crackle, netflix, and other tv streaming stuff its the best deal out there. It lags a bit with XBMC. Not bad for the price but still not my favorite.

    I have tried boxes from MInix, PIVOS, Amazon and others and the fire tv is so far my favorite. There are so many apps and games for it. The apple tv i hated that the only way i got new apps for mine is with a complete software update and even at that i cant choose what i want and dont want. And many of the apps require tv subscrption to use. NOw some on the fire tv do as well but most offer you current seasons of stuff if you sign in with a cable/satellite provider. If you do not you still get access to past seasons.

    NOW I have long been a apple user. WAY WAY WAY back to the Apple IIc, The mac performa, iiGS, first imac and many since, macbooks, ibooks, macbook pros.
    I am a very loyal apple user but i had to give up my Apple tv 2 because its was slow and so many things i liked about the fire tv that it could not do.
    BUT Apple could easily come wipe the floor with amazon and the others.
    1 They need something fast. The fire tv is basically last years kindle fire HD inside without a screen. Kind fires suck but the box rocks. OK if Apple took the insides of even the ipad air inside it would blow everything out of the water.
    Also Have it actually have storage and have theability to get apps for it and allow people to make apps for it just like amazon does for the fire tv and apple does for the iphone/ipad.
    Stop blocking everything and open it up and us loyal apple users would come back. But i have to have the ability to run XBMC

  9. If Apple kicked things into high gear and begins to push Apple TV as a gaming platform they can bide their time on the TV content side and when that has matured they can flip the switch on that front.

  10. I actually bought a Chromecast and to be honest I was pretty largely unimpressed with it. There’s only a handful of apps that actually use it. Sure, you can mirror your phone but it eats up battery if you do that.

    They have these things now on Amazon. They’re just HDMI sticks with tiny computers on the inside running Android. Essentially turns your TV into a giant tablet and you can run any Android app on it, you’re just using an external bluetooth controller instead of a touch screen.. The majority of them are only $20 more.

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