The Roku OTT ecosystem further extended its dominance as of the end of the first quarter, Strategy Analytics said in a new report. And it’s about to get even bigger.
The Roku operating environment now powers 41 million OTT devices and smart TVs around the world, the research company said, and it accounted for more than 30% of connected device sales in Q1.
In terms of number of devices used for OTT consumption, Roku’s 41 million is 36% greater than the next closest competitor, Sony PlayStation, Strategy Analytics said. The research company predicts Roku’s lead will stretch to 70% by the end of 2019, with 52 million devices in use accounting for 18% of the market.
In terms of streaming device sales in Q1, the next closest competitor were devices powered by the Amazon Fire TV operating system, which accounted for 12% of sales—less than half of Roku’s sales. Devices powered by Samsung’s Tizen accounted for 11% of sales, while those enabled by Google operating platforms (Android TV and Chromecast) accounted for 9%.
Update: MCN received an email from Amazon's PR firm after this story was originally reported. The firm reminded us that in May, Amazon reported 34 million "active users" of its Fire TV platform, shortly after Roku trumpeted 29 million active users for its ecosystem. But as we noted to the rep, Strategy Analytics isn't measuring active users, but rather devices in the field.
Does Sony really have more OTT-capable PlayStation devices deployed than there are Fire TV devices? Very questionable. We'll let Amazon talk to the research company and work the rest out.
“Roku’s extensive content offering, comprehensive search function and simple and intuitive user interface have been key factors in its success, alongside affordable hardware and regularly updated software,” said David Watkins, director at Strategy Analytics and the report’s author. “Roku has managed to establish itself as a highly respected and trusted brand in the U.S. with no perceived hidden agenda when it comes to promoting content on its platform.”
Roku does, however, face a marketing challenge internationally, Watkins noted.
“The company is much less well-known outside of the U.S., and in order to succeed on the international stage it will need to face down the twin challenge of building brand awareness and drawing users away from well-established players such as Amazon, Apple and Google.”