Roku beats Apple TV in owner engagement as video streaming device market picks up

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
A report released Wednesday focusing on the U.S. streaming video device market says more Roku owners use their set-top streamer than those who have an Apple TV.

Roku
The Roku 3 set-top box with remote and earphones. | Source: Roku


The independent study conducted by Parks Associates found that 37 percent of households with a streaming video media device primarily use a Roku product, while 24 percent use an Apple TV. The survey covered 10,000 U.S. households with broadband Internet connections during the first quarter of 2013.

?Roku customers are passionate about streaming, and we are delighted that independent research shows that we are the most popular streaming platform measured by usage on a U.S. household basis,? said Roku's founder and CEO Anthony Wood.

The research firm goes on to predict global sales of connected TV devices will reach 330 million by 2017, nearly double the number to be sold in 2013. This segment includes gaming consoles, smart TVs, standalone Blu-ray players, and other products capable of streaming video from the Internet. Although product prices will inevitably fall, revenues are set to increase by almost 100 percent.

A major driver of market growth is said to be next-generation video technology like 4K television sets, which may be too expensive to justify purchasing on the prospect of Internet streaming access alone.

"As a result, streaming video media devices will have a thriving market because they can offer innovations such as streaming video at low prices," said Parks Associates research director Barbara Kraus. "Devices such as Roku's streaming players and Google?s Chromecast will benefit from these market conditions."

Wednesday's report is contrasted by a June study that found Apple's streamer accounted for 56 percent of sector sales in 2012, pushed along by its AirPlay functionality. Roku came in a distant second with a 21 percent marketshare.

In a related development, Roku recently updated its http://appleinsider.com/l/?link=https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/roku/id482066631?mt=8Roku for iOS app to allow streaming of photos and music to a number of Roku devices, including the latest Roku 3. The video streaming capability is limited to content stored in an iOS device's Camera Roll, however, meaning purchased videos cannot be beamed to the big screen.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 57
    Survey basis seems to be a little off. To date Roku has sold approximately 5 million units, while AppleTV has sold over 13 million units.... A survey is only as good as it's population but the raw number's seem to show some holes in this one. Every AppleTV owner I know (and it's a good number" use theirs for streaming. I also own both, and like others use the Roku for Amazon, but prefer Apple's interface and easy of use, and use the AppleTV for the vast majority of my streaming usage.
  • Reply 2 of 57
    mechanicmechanic Posts: 805member


    Both of my apple tv's get used daily to stream media, I have at least a dozen friends and co-workers who use there apple tv's to daily stream.  I think this survey is very flawed.

  • Reply 3 of 57
    snovasnova Posts: 1,281member


    those headphones attached to the remote looks like a clever idea.. does it suffer any interference issues?

  • Reply 4 of 57
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mickey6Pack View Post



    Survey basis seems to be a little off. To date Roku has sold approximately 5 million units, while AppleTV has sold over 13 million units.... A survey is only as good as it's population but the raw number's seem to show some holes in this one. Every AppleTV owner I know (and it's a good number" use theirs for streaming. I also own both, and like others use the Roku for Amazon, but prefer Apple's interface and easy of use, and use the AppleTV for the vast majority of my streaming usage.


    I guess I'm waiting for them to streaming movies with HD Master audio, which may not happen for a while, if at all. and/or be able to get cable and to be able to perform fast channel flipping.  

  • Reply 5 of 57


    This information is meaningless without knowing how the data was collected.  If they surveyed 10,000 Netflix accounts to see who was streaming from what device, the information says something about Netflix users.  If they pulled aggregate data from YouTube or Hulu you again have a niche market subset.  If they surveyed individuals directly to ask them how they use their set-top device, only THEN do we have an idea of usage across platforms in proper context.


     


    Information like this without context is a waste of my time.

  • Reply 6 of 57
    v5vv5v Posts: 1,357member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mickey6Pack View Post



    Survey basis seems to be a little off. To date Roku has sold approximately 5 million units, while AppleTV has sold over 13 million units.


     


    It may be that many Apple TV owners use theirs primarily for AirPlay rather than streaming. I'm sure a good number of them are in corporate settings (including my own workplace) where they are never used for anything but Airplay. Those of us on forums like this may reasonably be expected to do more with our devices than the average consumer.

  • Reply 7 of 57
    Not all streaming is across the Internet. I rip all of my DVDs and purchase many TV shows and movies. Possibly the majority of my streaming is done within the home. This activity is not detectable by this type of survey. Also, as others have mentioned, Apple's interface to everything is vastly superior to other brands %u2014 even to the same content. The comparison is truly apples to oranges.
  • Reply 8 of 57
    jmncljmncl Posts: 42member


    Why does no one mention that last year's report that put Apple TV at 56% was worldwide, while this is a US study.


     


    The Roku is almost non-existent outside the US.

  • Reply 9 of 57
    Was this study commissioned and paid for by Roku?
  • Reply 10 of 57

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by IThinkIjustSaid View Post



    Was this study commissioned and paid for by Roku?


    By that logic, would every article that is pro Apple be commissioned and paid for by Apple?


     


    Let's hear/read all news, whether they favor Apple or not. That's how we learn, isn't it?

  • Reply 11 of 57
    mytdavemytdave Posts: 430member
    There are lies, damn lies, and then there are statistics. I think the survey is flawed, considering the installed base of Roku players is about 1/3 that of AppleTV. But let's take this at face value for a minute... As people say about brick-and-mortar stores, "location, location, location", so it is (or may become) with media, "content, content, content".

    I have set up and used both Roku and Apple devices. AppleTV is the more robust, better quality (hardware, interface, and image quality) device hands down - no contest whatsoever. The value of the internal power supply, and wired ethernet cannot be overstated. However, Apple needs to step up their game when it comes to deals with content providers, and they need to open it up with an "app store" for AppleTV.

    Oh, and the Roku 3 remote kicks the Apple remote's butt 5 ways 'til Sunday - not in size or build quality, but in features/function. The headphone jack on the remote is brilliant. Sometimes Apple's obsession with minimalism becomes a significant detractor of usability.
  • Reply 12 of 57
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,484member
    Was this study commissioned and paid for by Roku?

    It doesn't appear so. Parks sells research studies. The AI article comes from a PR release for this one:
    http://www.parksassociates.com/report/smart-tvs-foothold
  • Reply 13 of 57
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 594member


    You guys are awfully defensive about the AppleTV.  Roku sold 5million units a lot faster than Apple sold 5 million units, and it's not a hobby for them.  The only way Google will sell any of their $35 dongles is because folks haven't heard of Roku.  For $15 more, you get a MUCH better device.


     


    We have had an AppleTV for a number of years, starting with the first version, and then the first small version.  I started out using it just to stream media from a home server, and it's excellent for that.  We also use it for YouTube and we use Airplay.  Apple added some good channels and we're using it more than ever.  If they'd only add apps and frickin' Amazon Video.


     


    We've also had a Roku for several years and we use it more than the AppleTV.  We currently have two of them. There are lots of great channels.  We don't have cable, we just use our streamers and watch DVDs.  Roku has Amazon, which we use more than anything.  We also use the PBS channel to watch a few things.  The kids watch Crunchyroll shows (just added to AppleTV yay!)  Roku is a great deal and better than AppleTV in its wide variety of channels.  Did I mention that Roku starts at half the price of the AppleTV?  Since Roku has Amazon Video, which gives a ton of Amazon Prime video, if we HAD to pick one we would pick the Roku.

  • Reply 14 of 57
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,182member
    Anything negative towards Apple will make front page news even if it is bs as this obviously is. Even on AI!
  • Reply 15 of 57
    solomansoloman Posts: 228member
    brutus009 wrote: »
    This information is meaningless without knowing how the data was collected.  If they surveyed 10,000 Netflix accounts to see who was streaming from what device, the information says something about Netflix users.  If they pulled aggregate data from YouTube or Hulu you again have a niche market subset.  If they surveyed individuals directly to ask them how they use their set-top device, only THEN do we have an idea of usage across platforms in proper context.

    Information like this without context is a waste of my time.

    Roku doesn't have a Youtube app.
  • Reply 16 of 57

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by brutus009 View Post


    This information is meaningless without knowing how the data was collected.  If they surveyed 10,000 Netflix accounts to see who was streaming from what device, the information says something about Netflix users.  If they pulled aggregate data from YouTube or Hulu you again have a niche market subset.  If they surveyed individuals directly to ask them how they use their set-top device, only THEN do we have an idea of usage across platforms in proper context.


     


    Information like this without context is a waste of my time.





    Agree this is bogus and bs. In total, they found 14% of households had a streaming device, so they must have surveyed non Netflix users. But with Apple @ 24% and Roku @ 37% of that 14% total, one would have to ask what the 'other' 50% used. Xbox? WD? As well, Roku currently has more services than non jailbroken ATVs - usage would change dramatically when Apple adds the same content.

  • Reply 17 of 57
    solomansoloman Posts: 228member
    mytdave wrote: »
    There are lies, damn lies, and then there are statistics. I think the survey is flawed, considering the installed base of Roku players is about 1/3 that of AppleTV. But let's take this at face value for a minute... As people say about brick-and-mortar stores, "location, location, location", so it is (or may become) with media, "content, content, content".

    I have set up and used both Roku and Apple devices. AppleTV is the more robust, better quality (hardware, interface, and image quality) device hands down - no contest whatsoever. The value of the internal power supply, and wired ethernet cannot be overstated. However, Apple needs to step up their game when it comes to deals with content providers, and they need to open it up with an "app store" for AppleTV.

    Oh, and the Roku 3 remote kicks the Apple remote's butt 5 ways 'til Sunday - not in size or build quality, but in features/function. The headphone jack on the remote is brilliant. Sometimes Apple's obsession with minimalism becomes a significant detractor of usability.

    Is this much different than the web usage stats show more iOS users than anything else?
  • Reply 18 of 57
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    Simple - Roku has access to all the porn sites (not that i know) whereas the Apple Disney friendly TV does not.
  • Reply 19 of 57
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,557member
    I've got one Roku and four AppleTV boxes. The Roku is just used for Amazon Prime streaming, but there really aren't any shows that are available there that aren't on Netflix that I watch. Roku is used maybe 3-5% of the time I use an AppleTV.

    But, one AppleTV is just acting as a digital sign, another is just used for AirPlay mirroring. Roku isn't really useful for either of those functions, so of course it is only used for streaming.
  • Reply 20 of 57
    alanskyalansky Posts: 235member
    Considering that there is no iPad app for the Roku, it is hard to imagine that anyone who owns an iPad would choose the Roku over the Apple TV. Also, the fact that a higher percentage of Roku owners actively use their streaming device is interesting but irrelevant to the question of whether the Roku or the Apple TV is the better/easier-to-use product.
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