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Roku Takes the Lead and Runs With It: Most Popular for Streaming

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For a company considering going public in the near future, this is good news at the right time. Research released today from Parks Associates says Roku, already the leader among TV streaming devices, has widened its lead over Amazon, Apple, and Google.

In Q1 2016, 30 percent of video streaming devices owned by U.S. households were made by Roku. By Q1 2017, that figure had grown to 37 percent.

During the same period, Amazon Fire TV saw its share grow from 16 percent to 24 percent, making it the second most popular choice (a spot formerly occupied by Google). The Google Chromecast was used by 18 percent of the market, while Apple TV ownership declined to 15 percent. One-third of all U.S. broadband-enabled homes own a video streaming device.

Parks attributes much of Roku's success and Apple decline to price sensitivity.

"Roku emerged early as a U.S. market leader for streaming media players, and the company has held firmly to that position," says Glenn Hower, senior analyst for Parks Associates. "Higher-priced devices, such as the Apple TV, have not been able to keep up with low-priced and readily available Roku devices, which can be found at Walmart for as low as $29.99."

The data comes from the report Reinventing CE: Transforming Devices to Service Platforms, which also finds that 45 percent of U.S. broadband-enabled homes own a connected TV and half own a gaming console. 

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