Apple and Roku tied for lead in U.S. streaming media player box sales

Parks Associates announced new research today that Roku is still the most popular brand of streaming media players, accounting for 30% of the players purchased from 1Q 2015 to 1Q 2016. Amazon moved into a virtual tie for second place 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.

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

2015 U.S. Streaming Media Player Sales - Parks Associates

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 4Q 2015.

The all-new Apple TV with Siri remote and Apple TV App Store
The all-new Apple TV with Siri remote and Apple TV App Store
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 added. “Sticks accounted for 50% of all unit sales in 2015. Approximately one-third of Roku sales were sticks, and roughly three-quarters of Amazon sales were sticks. Apple and Roku were essentially tied for selling the most boxes, but Roku is expanding its base with the additional form factor.”

Parks Associates 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.

Source: Parks Associates

MacDailyNews Take: And Apple achieved that despite Apple TV not being carried by Amazon, not to mention that it’s $40 for a Roku Streaming Stick, $40 for an Amazon Fire Stick, and $35 for Chromecast vs. $149/$199 for an Apple TV.

By the way: If you’re not controlling your Apple TV with your Apple Watch, you’re missing out!

Controlling Apple TV with your Apple Watch is a sublime experience – April 20, 2016
Google’s Chromecast widens lead over Apple TV in streaming device market share – March 9, 2016
Gaming shootout: Apple TV vs. Amazon Fire TV – February 10, 2016
New Apple TV has the potential to do for television what iPhone did for mobile phones – September 11, 2015
Apple preps to conquer living room with all-new Apple TV – September 11, 2015
Hands-on with the all-new Apple TV – September 10, 2015
Gruber: Apple TV will define how all TVs will work in a few years – September 10, 2015


  1. When the Apple TV has as many options to watch as Roku and can do 4K give me a call. I own both, but the Apple TV is still not ready for Prime Time without an A La Carte Service.

    I want a collection of channels of my choosing. I am tired of subsidizing Disney, Viacom and Fox (NewsCrap or whatever it is called today) and a bunch of other channels I do not watch.

    1. You ought to watch Fox News. Then for a real change, you might learn some things outside the leftist box of biased mainstream media (ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, etc., etc., etc.).

      1. One day F2T2, you are going to realize that there is a whole world beyond the Red Pill v Blue Pill nonsense.

        Would it shock you to know that Rupert Murdoch- godfather of Right Wingnut Media- is a contributor and supporter of Hillary Clinton? It should not as his agenda and hers are closely aligned.

        Ms Clinton is a corporatist and a National Security Hawk. This aligns her in many ways with the money behind the Republican Party and the New Democrats (DINOs), Third Way Types, etc. The same is true of Obama.

        Trade Presidents from Bush to Obama and you still get a Goldman Banker as Treasury Secretary. David Gergen worked in both the Reagan and Clinton White House. The list is long while people like Rush keep the rabble entertained.

        Meanwhile, back to TV.

        The Network News Divisions and Cable News Channels are peddlers of Infotainment, spectacle and Newspeak. They serve the man – whomever the man is. They defend the status quo and are owned by the very corporations that are eating our political system alive.

        1. Rupert Murdoch operates all around the world and he doesn’t consistently support politicians from either the right or left. In any given country he tends to support the ones that he thinks will emerge as winners and in some cases will initially support both sides until a winner emerges. By being best buddies with the winner he is better able to gain influence and further extend his business interests.

          I’m not saying that he doesn’t have his own political agenda, or that he doesn’t use his media businesses to push his agenda, but he is certainly something of a chameleon when dealing with different politicians around the world.

  2. I have both the AppleTV and the Roku 4k box. I like my AppleTV but the Roku 4k box is AWESOME for Netflix and Hulu 4k content being limited. HOWEVER, 4k when available is beautiful.
    I am still committed to Apple but I feel the AppleTV w/o 4k is a major shortcomming….!!!

  3. My reading skills seem to be failing me. I didn’t read anything the the MDN synopsis that supported the article header. With ROKU sales at 30% and Apple at 20%, that doesn’t appear to be “tied.” I guess they just had to get Apple in the header for clicks.

      1. Content owners who determine how they distribute their media don’t really care if Apple had a short-term bump in sales for some arbitrary period. They care about total deployed capacity. Until Apple moves from 4th place, they won’t be a primary factor in driving the media distribution landscape going forward. The real reason that anyone pays the premium for an Apple TV is that they think it’s the easiest way to unify their Mac and iOS devices with their big screen TV. Then they discover that any old iOS or Mac device can be wired to their TV permanently and it will work infinitely better than the kludged Apple TV.

        It also doesn’t help that ATV4 is an overpriced, underperforming box that doesn’t yet offer any significant capabilities that the competition doesn’t. Roku 4 is so much better in every respect, and the Amazon / Google spyware offerings are so cheap to buy, and the Apple interface leaves so much to be desired, the short-term bump in sales of ATV4 is likely to fizzle. You can iCal me on this, MDN.

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