Google's Chromecast usurps Apple TV in streaming content device race

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited March 2015
Cheap streaming media players like Google's Chromecast and Amazon's Fire TV are gobbling up marketshare from streaming device heavyweights Apple and Roku, with Apple TV dropping its long-held second place spot to the Internet search giant's latest attempt on the living room.




According to fresh data from market research firm Parks Associates, the streaming media device industry shifted in 2014 toward upstart players Google and Amazon, with previous giants Apple and Roku both seeing severe drops in marketshare, reports CNET.

The entire sector is growing, as ten percent of all U.S. households with broadband connections purchased either a set-top streamer or small stick-format device during the first three quarters of 2014. Sales have already reached last year's levels and the lucrative holiday shopping season has not yet been accounted for.

Roku still leads in marketshare and accounts for 29 percent of sales, though that number is down drastically from 2013 when Roku took almost half of the market. Google Chromecast jumped into second place with a 20 percent share, ousting former No. 2 Apple TV, which currently holds 17 percent of the market. Apple shed 9 points from last year, with sales almost entirely going to Google and newcomer Amazon, which itself captured a 10 percent marketshare.

"Nearly 50% of video content that U.S. consumers watch on a TV set is non-linear, up from 38% in 2010, and it is already the majority for people 18-44," said Barbara Kraus, a director of research at Parks Associates. "The market is changing rapidly to account for these new digital media habits. Roku now offers a streaming stick, and Amazon's Fire TV streaming stick leaves Apple as the only top player without a stick product in the streaming media device category."

With a price of $99, Apple TV is seeing stiff competition from cheap hardware that offers similar functionality for a fraction of the cost. While not as robust a solution, streaming sticks like the $35 Chromecast represent less of an investment for consumers.

The streaming market will continue to grow in the coming years and Parks Associates estimates that 2017 will bring almost 50 million streaming devices sold globally.

A revamped Apple TV has long been rumored for release, though reports claim difficulties with content owners have forced Apple to push back release into 2015. Along with a possible redesign, some speculate that the upcoming Apple TV box will include motion controls similar to Microsoft's Kinect for Xbox.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 65

    All the more reason to launch a proper replacement to cable and satellite next year, removing the Apple TV from these lists and throwing it up against Comcast, DirectTV, and Dish on the bar graphs.

  • Reply 2 of 65

    Not surprising, since the product has barely undergone any significant changes since Version 2. (No, a few additional channels, radio, and moving to 1080p doesn't count). 90% of the stuff that people typically need is available on all the cheaper devices now, so it's not surprising that people are buying on price.

     

    The only saving grace is iTunes Match (even that had become buggy) and AirPlay (which I find myself using less and less, since the color settings I use on my TV viewing don't look all that great from OSX/iOS devices).

     

    Apple needs to really do something more innovative in this space (relative to itself) to move the needle.

  • Reply 3 of 65

    All this really says is that Google is taking share from Roku more than taking share from Apple "if" this data is even accurate. 

  • Reply 4 of 65
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post

     

    All this really says is that Google is taking share from Roku more than taking share from Apple "if" this data is even accurate. 




    Uh no. As Anantksundaram essentially stated above, Apple still hasn't added enough functionality to this "hobby" to make it a worthwhile purchase for most people. Couple that with the price and it's fairly easy to see why most are turning to options that give greater functionality for a better price, in this case Chromecast. Once Apple updates the specs (and by a significant margin), adds an App Store/Channel Store and lowers the price this should sell very well. Till then it will continue to lose share and gather cobwebs.

  • Reply 5 of 65
    pscooter63pscooter63 Posts: 1,044member

    I gotta say, I'm with Anant on this one.  I keep waiting and waiting for Apple TV to be updated, because I fear being caught flatfooted with a sunsetted device (when the next iteration is finally released).

     

    I can still stream from my phone with my trusty HDMI adapter; it's just fiddly to set up.  But it's also hard to blow money on what amounts to a neat parlor trick (AirPlay).

     

    Having said that, I will never, ever invest in a Chromecast (shudder)...

  • Reply 6 of 65
    Wait, this is SALES of devices. It says nothing about usage of devices, which is what really matters. Apple hasn't updated the AppleTV in quite some time because, well, it works pretty well as is and there's absolutely no reason to buy another one if you've already got one. So the millions of units sold LAST year are still there in use. The Chromecast is a brand new device so anyone wanting to get into it would need to buy their first one. The fact that they barely beat out Apple in sales against a 4 year old product that has only undergone a couple minor revisions is pretty telling.

    Roku is still a top seller, but they have been far more aggressive in creating different products to suit different needs. It's no wonder that it's a higher selling solution.

    Sales of the device don't mean squat to the companies. It's USING the device that matters. That's where revenue comes from. I know many people that bought the Chromecast device only to discontinue use because it sucked so bad. Many will replace it with a competing device and be happy they did.
  • Reply 7 of 65
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,519member

    "Apple TV is seeing stiff competition from cheap hardware that offers similar functionality for a fraction of the cost." Most TVs come with "similar functionality" so the need for those cheap sticks really can't be justified. AppleTV provides a lot more for Mac users, even in its "limited functionality" (as far as some people proclaim), than those sticks or the built-in capabilities of TVs. I use it to stream movies and TV shows I've purchased both from my Mac and from iCloud. I also use it to stream music through my stereo system. Finally, I use AirPlay (sorry, @anantksundaram, my crappy Samsung displays my stuff fine) for a variety of things. I don't use Google apps on my iPhone so their stick won't provide anything my AppleTV does. 

     

    @Tallest Skil, I would like to see an Apple-branded internet service complete with TV and movies but I don't believe this is something Apple really wants to try and supply. Launching their own group of satellites will only crowd space, they'd still have to fight Comcast for NBC and Universal programming and fork out a bunch of money for all the other programming. The worst thing is they'd have to deal with all the current complainers who can't figure out how to program their DVRs and keep their cable modems from overheating (no, it doesn't belong in the closet under the coats). There's no way they could finance a broadband network installation. I'm sure Comcast (I'm west coast) pays local communities plenty to keep them at the top of the list when building new neighborhoods. I'm sad to say I would fight Apple if they wanted to dig up my streets and trench to my house to install another cable. As for satellite, we get snow and I don't believe the signal goes through a foot or more of snow very well. I'm all for underground utilities including cable.

  • Reply 8 of 65
    Shouldn't this be a "Breaking Story"? Most market share articles are.
  • Reply 9 of 65

    Devices sales, like Android market share, don't mean much. Apple still trounces Google for digital content sales. Google sells so little they don't even bother to break out the numbers from their "Other" category on their earnings calls.

     

    Of course a dirt-cheap streaming stick is going to sell like crazy. Doesn't mean it's actually being USED.

     

    I rent/buy all my movies on Apple TV. They often have $0.99 rentals and I've picked up a ton of good movies from their $10 and under section. Even though Apple TV hasn't seen an updated for awhile, it's still far better than what my cable operator offers for getting on demand content.

  • Reply 10 of 65
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Isn't Eddy responsible for ?TV? Maybe he's been too busy with ?Pay?
  • Reply 11 of 65
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    A revamped Apple TV has long been rumored for release, though reports claim difficulties with content owners have forced Apple to push back release into 2015. Along with a possible redesign, some speculate that the upcoming Apple TV box will include motion controls similar to Microsoft's Kinect for Xbox.

     

    Apple better have something ready to announce or they lose the whole Christmas *ahem* Holiday sales bubble. (actually it's really too late to salvage this year)

  • Reply 12 of 65
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,316member

    OH NOES! A $29 DEVICE IS SELLING IN SOME QUANTITY! APPLE IS DOOMED! JUST LIKE HOW ANDROID HAS 5 BILLION PERCENT MARKETSHARE AND HAS DOOMED APPLE!

     

    What the **** does "usurp" mean, and how the **** can anyone declare chrome-cast a "winner" in this "race"? Even I bought the thing because it was so damn cheap. I used it for 1/2 hr, realized it's a piece of shit, and even forgot to return it until the last possible day, that's how little I cared about the $ spent (but I did return it out of principle). The chrome-cast is nowhere near the Apple TV in terms of functionality, technology, and user experience. But it's almost as cheap as something you'd throw in a cereal box, so yes, it will be purchased, and yes, it will attain some mythical "marketshare", a term devoid of any meaning in this particular context. It's not like the chrome-cast will push people towards a particular ecosystem, or turn any kind of tide. It's a dirt cheap thing that's just noise at this point, in terms of how things will shake out.

     

    You can't even use it to stream content from your own damn device (ie. photos), everything needs to be in the cloud, and controlled with your smartphone in an awkward way. 

     

    At least this headline isn't as shitty and hit-whorish as macrumors, which pretty much bases its existence on trolling Apple and making sensationalist dredge that attracts the people it wants to attract. 

     

    Google Chromecast Leapfrogs Apple TV as the Aging Media Player Loses Ground to Rivals

     

    I'd be curious as to actual active usage stats between the Apple TV and Chromecast.. something tells me most of those sticks sold are doing nothing but collecting dust. 

  • Reply 13 of 65
    snovasnova Posts: 1,281member

    It would be good to see a chart describing what percent of profits Apple takes in comparied to the rest of its competitors in this market segment.

  • Reply 14 of 65
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    snova wrote: »
    It would be good to see a chart describing what percent of profits Apple takes in comparied to the rest of its competitors in this market segment.

    That percentage falls to zero when someone purchases something else
  • Reply 15 of 65
    r00fusr00fus Posts: 245member
    I bought one last year, essentially for $9 ($35 with 3 months of Netflix free). It remains unused in the packaging sitting pretty with my iPhone and iPod boxes - collecting dust.

    The execution is pretty neat, but it's frustrating how Chrome-whatever devices seem to lack basics - you think the AppleTV is barebones (compared to a media PC or console)? The Chromecast has no remote and can't initiate anything.

    Me, I prefer *not* "casting", but using the device to browse Netflix, my video purchases, and with PlexConnect, my local movie collection.

    I'll give up my remote when voice control becomes feasible.
  • Reply 16 of 65
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    That percentage falls to zero when someone purchases something else

    Please. You knew EXACTLY what snova meant by that comment and still had to find a way to troll it.
  • Reply 17 of 65
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    I like the packaging for the Chromecast. Extremely classy and good quality.

    In fact, it reminds of some other brand's packaging...anyway...Apple had better watch out. Once Google figures out how to 'innovate' from the front instead of from behind Apple are...

    Apple are...

    Shit. What's that bad word that happens to Apple?

    I'll be doomed if I can remember the damn thing...
  • Reply 18 of 65
    i got a call from a friend the other day asking how to mirror his iPad on his TV. Told hm to get an AppleTV. He asked was there a cheaper way.

    I gave the usual answer of "i'm sure there is but it will be a bitch", conditioned this way now, so i don't get caught being asked to do it and then having to endure call after call asking why it isn't working again.

    only then did he admit he had just bought a ChromeCast and wanted to know how to "make it work"

    once i finished laughing, I told him there might be, ask where he bought it from.

    So chalk that one up to one more device sale that will never see the light of day from the drawer it now sits in. Wonder how many more devices end up like this?
  • Reply 19 of 65
    snovasnova Posts: 1,281member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by seanie248 View Post



    ... He asked was there a cheaper way.



    ...So chalk that one up to one more device sale that will never see the light of day from the drawer it now sits in. 

    only rich people can afford to throw away their money on impulse purchases purely based on an item being "cheap".

  • Reply 20 of 65
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    Please. You knew EXACTLY what snova meant by that comment and still had to find a way to troll it.

    Am I wrong? This isn't the smartphone market. In this market Apple has some serious competition. Streamers don't need to do much. Plus the Apple TV doesn't do that much more than the others. It would be a mistake to equate the inexpensive streamers to cheap Android phones. The users are not one, and the same. These devices are made to generate content consumption. Profit per device is meaningless. It's the money made on content purchases that counts.
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