Led by the Chromecast, products from Google, Amazon, Apple and Roku accounted for more than 8 of every 10 digital media streamer shipped globally last year, according to a new report from Strategy Analytics.
Per the study – Global Connected TV Device Vendor Market Share: Q4 2015 -- the $35 Google Chromecast took down 35% of the 42 million digital media streamers shipped last year, followed by Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV products.
The Chromecast’s $35 price and portability has made it an impulse purchase for many and household ownership of multiple Chromecasts is not uncommon,” the firm said. “However, the mobile device is not necessarily the center of the universe for everyone and devices such as Apple TV, Roku and the Amazon Fire TV continue to prove popular with those looking for a more traditional remote-based and UI driven TV experience."
Based on cumulative shipments, the Apple TV, with 37 million units shipped since 2007, still leads the pack, though the Chromecast, at 27 million units shipped and coming off the introduction of a new model, is making up ground, followed by Roku players and the Roku Streaming Stick (20 million), and the Amazon Fire TV (less than 10 million).
When factoring in other types of connected TV devices, such as smart TVs, Blu-ray players and gaming consoles, global shipments in the category totaled 220 million units in 2015, thanks to record shipments of 84 million in Q4, Strategy Analytics said.
Smart TVs accounted for 54% of all connected TV devices shipped in 2015, hitting 120 million units. Samsung, LG and Sony enjoyed a combined 50% share in that segment, despite strength from TCL and Hisense, makers of a new line of integrated Roku TV products.
"Ownership of connected TV devices is not restricted to one device over another,” Chirag Upadhyay, senior research analyst, Connected Home Devices service, at Strategy Analytics, said in a statement. “Our research shows that US broadband homes own an average of 2.3 such devices giving them multiple means by which to stream video and audio content to the TV. While some consumers will have a favoured method, we find that most households are switching between different devices depending on the user and type of content being consumed."