Easy to use and relatively inexpensive, Google’s Chromecast streaming media device caught on quickly with consumers, but it doesn’t hold much staying power when it comes to consistent usage.
According to new research from Parks Associates, about 6% of U.S. broadband households own a Chromecast dongle (out of about 20% of households that have some sort of streaming media player, such as AppleTV or Roku).
However, monthly usage rates have dropped since last year. In the third quarter of 2013, 76% of Chromecast owners reported using their device at least once a month to view Web pages on their television. By the fourth quarter of 2014, that number dropped to 57%. Monthly streaming video usage dropped less (78% to 73%), but only about 22% said the Chromecast was the most frequently used streaming device in their homes.
“Consumers are very particular about their viewing habits,” Brett Sappington, director of research at Parks Associates tells Marketing Daily. “It also shows that they’re very savvy about [how to] get web content to their televisions.”
With a price that’s about a third of AppleTV and Roku, Google’s Chromecast is a great option for people who don’t have a streaming media system or are looking for better ways to get content from their smartphones to their televisions, Sappington says. But for those who have already adopted a streaming media player (including a smart TV), the appeal of Chromecast seems limited.
“It’s still useful, particularly for those that don’t have a streaming media device,” Sappington says. “But once you have a streaming media device, it depends on your usage patterns. Consumers look at [the others] and say they’re feature rich and constantly updated. Chromecast is what it is.”
Meanwhile, the research also found that smart-TV adoptions has increased to more than one-third of U.S. broadband households. Although this may put further pressure on Chromecast, its affordability and ability to display mobile and tablet content on a larger screen will still have some appeal.
“The increase in penetration of smart TVs makes it less likely you’ll need Chromecast,” Sappington says. “But Chromecast makes it easy to put content from your phone on your TV.”