Chromecast Juices OTT Video Device Sales

Strong, Initial Sales of $35 Google Device to Help Push OTT Set-tops and Dongles Past 18 Million Units in 2013, ABI Research Predicts
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The number of over-the-top set-tops and dongles on the market will push past 18 million units later this year, hitting the mark faster than originally expected, thanks to strong, early demand for the Google Chromecast streaming dongle, ABI Research said in a forecast released Monday.

The overall OTT video market will grow at a 10.8% compound annual growth rate from 2013 to 2018 as less saturated and developing markets such as the Asia Pacific and Latin America join the curve, the firm said.

The initial stock of Chromecast devices at online sources such as Amazon sold out rapidly thanks to the low price ($35) and a promotion that included three free months of Netflix. Best Buy, meanwhile, expects to have a fresh stock in the “coming weeks” alongside a fresh round of Netflix promos, as long as supplies last, according to Gizmodo.  

Meanwhile, customers who purchased the Chromecast at Amazon after the cut won’t get their hands on the product until mid-September, or longer.  

“Google’s Chromecast device in particular sets a new low price bar for the connected CE market and as more applications are added to its library its value to price ratio will continue to grow,” ABI senior analyst Michael Inouye said, in a statement. Despite stiff competition from a range of connected CE devices, the smart set-top box and dongle market offers an equally compelling user experience often at significantly lower price points. In time, as the installed base of devices with new technologies like MHL grow we will start to see more dongle form factors in the smart set-top box market; although the puck will remain highly relevant.”

The emergence of MHL-ready TVs is central to Roku’s strategy for its new HDMI-connected streaming stick.