Consumers Quickly Adopting Set-Top Players

Set-top streaming players are catching on, even more so than game consoles or other connected devices that help viewers access over-the-top content. 

According to a new GfK study, 28% of viewers accessing Netflix-streamed content do so through a digital media players such as Roku, AppleTV or Chromecast. That is nearly double the number who used such devices in 2013 (15%)  and five times the number in 2011 (6%). Concurrently, ownership of such players has increased tenfold — from 2% to 21% — since 2010. 

“It’s right up there with tablets [in terms of adoption],” David Tice, senior vice president at GfK and author of the report, tells Marketing Daily. “Tablets have taken the lead in adoption over the last [several] years. These media players for the last couple of years have kept pace with tablet growth.”



Similarly, use of streaming capabilities through Internet-connected televisions has also increased -- reported to be used by 28% of viewers who watched Netflix on a TV, up from 20% in 2013 and 13% in 2011. 

This increased watching through TVs and streaming players has taken a toll on the use of video game consoles for streaming purposes. Although still the most popular option for watching Netflix, with 43% of viewers saying they used a game console, usage has dropped 5% since 2013 and is down nearly 20 points from 2011 (when it was 62%). 

Video game consoles are still popular among younger demographics. Millennials and members of Generation X are twice as likely to use a video game system to access Netflix as Baby Boomers, although both Gen X and Y show strong use of digital media players as well. 

“Digital media players are more popular with older generations because they’re not used to using gaming devices for streaming,” Tice says. As more capabilities get built into set-top boxes, “people will have a lot more choices and it [will come down] to what people are most comfortable with.”

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