Streaming Media Player Market Growing, Roku Dominates U.S.

More than 25% of U.S. TV homes will have a streaming media player by next year -- and the number will continue to rise.

A report from Park Associates says streaming players will reach 38% of U.S. TV households in 2017 -- some 50 million homes.

Currently, Roku is now the most-used player of those in homes who have the devices, with a 44% share. Apple TV is next at 26%. Parks says the gap has widened since last year, when Roku was at 37% and Apple, 24%.

An earlier Parks report also notes that Google Chromecast has a 6% share -- but Parks says that share is slowly declining. While Google Chromecast sold as many units in six months as Roku sold in 2013, Parks says usage of Chromecast has steadily declined since its introduction.

Parks says other players -- Sony, Netgear, TiVo, and others -- amount collectively to around 28%, which is down from around 32% in 2013.

It credits Roku's close association with Netflix for its performance, as well as offering 1,700 different channel apps, and a number of different models.

Still, Apple TV is well ahead of Roku globally -- with 20 million units sold versus 8 million for Roku.

Barbara Kraus, director of research, Parks Associates, in discussions of Apple’s slower-moving U.S. market, stated: “While approximately 50% of U.S. households have at least one Apple product, such as an iPhone or iPad, the company has not yet been able to leverage this success for its Apple TV offering.”

But with Amazon also coming to the streaming player market recently, Kraus says, it might prompt Apple to be more aggressive.

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