6 million U.S. homes add streaming media players in Q2; penetration at 17%

By Jim O'Neill on Sep 05 2014 at 11:00 AM
Apple TV remains tops in the streaming media player market in the US

Streaming media devices continue to find their way into U.S. homes with another six million households buying the over-the-top portals in the second quarter.

NPD Group reported that while Apple TV and Roku remained in the No. 1 and No. 2 spots respectively for market share, both saw declines as Google’s Chromecast picked up significant share, about 16%, in the market.

Apple TV dropped to 39% from 46% a year earlier, and Roku closed the quarter with a 28% market share, down from 33% in 2Q13.

NPD didn’t measure the share for Amazon’s Fire TV, as those results were not yet available due to its mid-year launch.

About 17% of U.S. households now have at least one streaming media player, with NPD saying in its Connected Intelligence Connected Home Report that it expects ownership to reach 39% of U.S. Internet households by the beginning of 2017.

An increasing number of brands in the market, more apps, and lower device prices all are impacting the rapid growth of the segment, but there’s a lot more to come, and it’ll arrive quickly..

“The streaming media player market had two major players driving growth; Apple and Roku – now we have four relevant hardware manufacturers with the addition of Amazon’s Fire TV and Google’s Chromecast,” said John Buffone, executive director, NPD Connected Intelligence. “Content is what’s going to bring these devices to the next level. It’s not just necessary to be able to stream popular video services such as Netflix and Hulu. Device manufacturers must also have the ability to attract a wide array of content owners and developers to build apps for their platforms – which is the direction Apple, Roku, Google, and Amazon are taking with their devices.”

NPD said average prices for streaming media players declined in the second quarter to $61 from $88 in 2012.

Blame – or give credit to – Google and it’s $35 Chromecast dongle that has seen sales rocket, prompting Roku to offer a cheaper player of its own, the $49 streaming stick, and likely contributing to Amazon’s feature-heavy box to come it at the same price as Apple TV, $99.

“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,” said Buffone. “It’s quickly becoming a great new channel content owners can use to grow the audience for popular TV shows, movies and more.”

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