More options and lower prices are fueling a rapid adoption of streaming media players throughout the United States.
According to The NPD Group, 6 million U.S. households have added streaming media players (such as Roku, Apple TV, or Chromecast) in their homes, increasing ownership penetration to 17%. By 2017, nearly two of every five homes in the U.S. will have a streaming media player.
Three factors are driving the rapid adoption: more selection, lower prices and better apps facilitating an ease of use, Buffone says. In the past year, both Google and Amazon introduced streaming media devices, and both were offered at attractive prices. (Google’s Chromecast was only $35, for instance. Roku quickly followed with its own HDMI stick at $49.) The average price of a streaming media player dropped from $88 in 2012 to $61 in the first half of 2014, according to NPD’s Retail Tracking Service.
“Affordability can drive impulse buying, rapid increases in ownership, and in turn it is increasing the number of homes with access to apps on TV,” says John Buffone, executive director of NPD Connected Intelligence. “It’s quickly becoming a great new channel content owners can use to grow the audience for popular TV shows, movies and more.”
Based on a survey of more than 5,000 U.S. consumers surveyed in the second quarter of 2014, AppleTV continues to lead market share, with 39% (down from 46% in the same period a year previously). Roku followed with 28% (down from 33%) and Google had 16% share. Amazon’s FireTV hadn’t launched at the time of the survey and was not included in the data, Buffone says.
Given the strength of those four brands, however, it will be difficult for any other players to break into the market at this point, Buffone says. Despite the availability of Internet-content via connected television, the market should continue to expand for these four players for the next few years.
“At this juncture there appears to be enough space to handle both devices in the market,” Buffone tells Marketing Daily, although he notes that by 2018, the external streaming market will likely hit its saturation point.