Roku Most Popular Streaming Device, Takes Crown from Chromecast
Roku devices are currently used by 23.1 percent of all Americans who stream video to a TV, finds research company eMarketer. That's an improvement over the 19.3 percent who used a Roku device last year. In all, 38.9 million stream to a Roku at least once per month.
eMarketer expects this dominance to grow, with Roku's market penetration rising above 33 percent by 2021. This must be welcome news to Roku executives, who are reportedly planning an initial public offering (IPO) for later this year.
The next most popular TV streaming devices are the Google Chromecast (used by 36.9 million in the U.S. or 22.0 percent of all users), Amazon Fire (35.8 million or 21.3 percent), and Apple TV (21.3 million or 12.7 percent). (Some households have multiple streaming devices.) Roku took the lead recently, as eMarketer declared Chromecast the most popular device in October.
“As the only major market participant not affiliated with a content or TV device platform, Roku has used its neutrality to strike deals with a wide range of partners, including smart TV makers, OTT service providers, and social media companies,” notes Paul Verna, principal video analyst at eMarketer. “That expansive strategy, combined with the company’s broad selection of connectivity devices at various price points, has put Roku at the head of the pack.”
Apple TV is currently in fourth place, and that gap will widen in the coming years, Verna says, with the device held back by its lack of a compelling content offering and higher price than competitors. Unlike Roku, Google, and Amazon, Apple doesn't offer a low-price introductory device.
Viewers want to see it all, but there are only so many hours in a day. To get more done, viewers increasingly surf on their phone or computer while watching video.
Roku boxes have taken the lead with consumers and the company seems well-poised for an IPO, but financial disclosures show the company has never turned a profit.
Roku and Amazon have had a successful year and increased their share of the U.S. broadband market, while Apple and Google have lost ground.
Ahead of a rumored IPO, Roku is warning those who add private channels to their accounts, and may be banning services with pirated content.
Despite positive growth, both areas see low monthly active adoption. Most AR use is on Snapchat, while 360-videos and photos make up most VR.