Internet-connected television use including Apple TV growing to over 168 million in 2017

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in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
Apple has grown its body of streaming hardware users, but still lags behind offerings from Amazon, Google, and Roku, according to a new research study.




The study, collated by eMarketer sees explosive growth in internet-connected televisions and streaming boxes. In total, 168.1 million people will use an internet-connected TV in 2017, up 10.1 percent over the 2016 number.

Leading the category is smart televisions, with nearly half of all connected viewers at 81.2 million users in 2017. Smart TV growth has led the overall increase, with a 30.8 percent increase in 2017.

Roku has been the main beneficiary of the growth. The survey company sees a 19.3 percent growth since the last measurement period, with 38.9 million Americans using a Roku-equipped device.




Not made clear by the study is how the devices are being used. While the survey measures actual users, it is not clear if the Roku televisions are being used for regular cable programming with the Roku streaming system idle, or if they are actively being used for internet streaming.

Likewise, it isn't clear if the Apple TV is being used for streaming user content from iTunes, or from an iOS device through AirPlay.

Roku's closet competitor is Google's Chromecast, which should have 36.9 million users this year, roughly 22 percent of connected TV users. Amazon Fire TV is predicted to see 35.8 million users in 2017, holding 21.3 percent of connected TV users.

The Apple TV is fourth, with 21.3 million users sitting at around 12.7 percent of all connected TV users. The study publishers see that growing by four million by the end of 2021, but it does not appear that the study's predictions reflect a rumored 4K update to the Apple TV hardware, nor the forthcoming addition of Amazon Prime Video to the device.

"Apple TV has been held back by the absence of a compelling content offering, a lack of support for increasingly popular Amazon video content and a much higher price bracket than its competitors," principal video analyst at eMarketer Paul Verna said. "Apple TV devices currently start at $150, whereas Google, Amazon and Roku all sell streaming sticks that are priced well below $40."

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    I went from FiOS TV to Apple TVs and could not be happier. I cut my monthly cost for TV by more than 50%. The AppleTVs are a joy to use, and I still have all my local channels including all my sports. SlingTV is a lot of bang for the buck, especially when it comes to sports. DirectTV NOW is one of the more pricier options, but has more channels available than I had on the best tier of FiOS TV. That's just a couple of the live TV options, there are more. Of course you have all the on-demand staples such as Netflix, Hulu, and coming soon Amazon. SlingTV and DirectTV both offer discounted and/or free AppleTVs if you pre-pay for three months up front. If you haven't cut the cord due to lack of live TV, now is the time.

    The AppleTVs of course integrates with your other Apple devices, so you have your pictures, movies, Apple Music, etc. on your TV. You have Siri which is handy, and you can even control HomeKit devices. It's nice using Siri on my TV to adjust the thermostat in the house, or just to look up what TV show is available on what app. It operates very similar to an iPad or iPhone so it's easy to operate. To setup your AppleTV, you can just hold your iPad or iPhone close to it, and it will automatically transfer your Apple account info, apps, settings, etc., and connect to WiFi in one step.
    edited July 2017
  • Reply 2 of 17
    "At least once per month" seems like a low bar to measure relative success between devices.
    bshankcalilolliver
  • Reply 3 of 17
    "Not made clear by the study is how the devices are being used. While the survey measures actual users, it is not clear if the Roku televisions are being used for regular cable programming with the Roku streaming system idle, or if they are actively being used for internet streaming."

    Pretty much no one pays extra for a smart TV without using the smart features.

    "Leading the category is smart televisions, with nearly half of all connected viewers at 81.2 million users in 2017. "

    This is what I would like to see broken down. The major players here:

    Samsung's Tizen smart TV platform (originally Intel's smartphone platform that Samsung bought to use for their Android competitor)

    LG's webOS smart TV platform (again originally intended for smartphones by Palm and HP but they gave up without really trying thanks to the iPhone then LG bought it to use for their TVs)

    Roku's platform: the most popular platform not tied to a single manufacturer

    Firefox TV: technically was not manufacturer-specific but in practice was only adopted only by Panasonic, receives no more support from Mozilla but Panasonic is keeping it going for now

    Android TV: lack of adoption by Samsung and LG nearly killed their chances, as did Google's stupidly refusing to release a $40 dongle to compete with the Roku and Fire TV streaming sticks (because they didn't want to cannibalize Chromecast). However, Sony uses it for their smart Bravia smart TV line, plus a bunch of smaller players (Philips, RCA, Sharp, TCL, LeCo, Haier). Many of the Android TV-based smart TV manufacturers make and sell Roku-based smart TVs also (LeCo, TCL, Haier for example) which ruined Google's hopes of dominating the cheap smart TV market as they do the cheap phone market.

    If Samsung, LG and Sony releases numbers on the amount of smart TVs that they move, the media never sees fit to report them. The other OEMs either don't release this data, or the media doesn't report/analyze it. Variety claims that Roku has a 13% smart TV share, which is a lot lower than I thought, but then again that is up from 8%. Google claims that they see about half a million Android TV activations a year, nearly all of which are almost certain to be Sony Bravia smart TVs.

    hodar
  • Reply 4 of 17
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,132moderator
    Apple is such a laggard.  Except, um, in profits.  And true innovation.  And meaningful, well thought out platforms.  And security, and privacy and quality...
    hodarrandominternetpersonbshanklkrupplolliverwatto_cobrawilliamlondon
  • Reply 5 of 17
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,540member
    The numbers are a little different when including iPhones and iPads, which are used significantly for video viewing, and which support more & more of the functionality of AppleTV in this space (single sign-on, TV app).
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 17
    hodarhodar Posts: 278member
    I'm patiently waiting for DirectTV Now to join the single-sign-on listings.  As things are, if you subscribe to DirectTV NOW, you cannot use your logon to sign into channels that are included in the DirectTV NOW bundle; what's even worse is that you cannot even MANUALLY sign into these channels, using the DirectTV credentials.

    IMHO, competing companies that  bundle internet channels, need to get on board- YouTube, PSVue, DirectTV NOW, et. al.
  • Reply 7 of 17
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,872administrator
    "Not made clear by the study is how the devices are being used. While the survey measures actual users, it is not clear if the Roku televisions are being used for regular cable programming with the Roku streaming system idle, or if they are actively being used for internet streaming."

    Pretty much no one pays extra for a smart TV without using the smart features.

    "Leading the category is smart televisions, with nearly half of all connected viewers at 81.2 million users in 2017. "

    This is what I would like to see broken down. The major players here:
    1) I don't believe that's the case for the general population. I'm sure that if we, meaning AI readers, get a Smart TV, at least some use is for the streaming features. Based on what I've seen and heard, I think Joe Public gets sold on a deal at Best Buy or Target, and doesn't care that much, if at all. Plus, its hard to find a name-brand 4K set without it.

    2) I would as well. This is the data that the surveyors have presented, though.
    tmaylolliver
  • Reply 8 of 17
    I switched from cable to AppleTV with PSVue. Afgter trying all the offering DirectTV Now, Sling, Hulu and Youtube. PSVue is the best by far. My only complaint is that I really dont care for the Apple TV remote when it comes to rewind and fast forward it's to clumsy. I would much rather have actual buttons.
  • Reply 9 of 17
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,309member
    "At least once per month" seems like a low bar to measure relative success between devices.
    Remind us why relative success between devices is important. Is it important for Roku fanboys, TV fanboys, Chromecast fanboys, Fire TV fanboys?
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 17
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,972member
    I've switched from cable to Sling via my AppleTV. Works great and is soooooo much cheaper! 

    On a side note...where the hell is Apple in this? Why doesn't Apple have their own service yet? My hope is that they're wanting to do something a little different that takes a little more upfront work between the networks and what Apple has to do on the backend. Otherwise...there's no excuse! 

    I switched from cable to AppleTV with PSVue. Afgter trying all the offering DirectTV Now, Sling, Hulu and Youtube. PSVue is the best by far. My only complaint is that I really dont care for the Apple TV remote when it comes to rewind and fast forward it's to clumsy. I would much rather have actual buttons.
    I too think the AppleTV remote in general is a pain to use. I wish it would be more like a Wii remote, or what LG does with their remotes where you put the remote with some sort of pointer on the screen with where you want to go instead of using this overly sensitive very small trackpad type thing that in the end, doesn't work very well. Why can't Apple get pointing devices down? They can't make a good mouse to save the company and they can't make a freaking remote that easy to use. And I know I'll get some replying back that they don't have any issues with the remote, well good for you! 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 11 of 17
    bshankbshank Posts: 164member
    Apple is such a laggard.  Except, um, in profits.  And true innovation.  And meaningful, well thought out platforms.  And security, and privacy and quality...
    I'm certain Apple TV leads all internet connected TV devices in profit. I've cut down my TV costs to about $50 per month (from about $150) and have not lost any of the channels I used when I did have cable. I have used DirectTV Now since it came out, received a free 32GB TV, and still pay only $35 a month as an early adopter. I sold that TV which covered the costs for my first 3 months on DIRECTV Now as well.  If they jack up my price I will gladly go to Hulu Live and ditch the a--holes from AT&T when it is cost effective for me to do so. 

    Add on the security, HomeKit compatibility, as well as compatibility with all of my other Apple devices and services and I feel safe to say the Apple is the winner here. The best part about having less market share is that Apple cannot be justly accused of holding a monopoly in this area, similar to music streaming with Spotify (who has more subscribers so cannot appear valid in their lame victim claims).
    edited July 2017 lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 17
    applesauce007applesauce007 Posts: 1,621member
    I dropped FiOS CableTV for for AppleTV + DirecTV Now at $35 deal and it is very nice except that DirecTV Now is not a full TV Provider on AppleTV.

    If Google or Hulu became a full provider, I would switch.

    Too many providers are not fully integrated with AppleTV to take full advantage of it.  Apple needs to promote that more.

    bshankwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 17
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,378member
    I agree with the broader thrust of this article. AppleTV is pretty much a laggard at this point. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 14 of 17
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Hardware is what will help adoption. I like how everyone pretends the biggest TV boxes don't exist, Xbox and PlayStation. Wii had the biggest share but Nintendo kicked themselves out of the race.

    If Apple can nail it in graphics we'll see gamers switch. Right now no one is running out to buy an TV for games and that's a giant market right now.

    I remember Sony being scared when they found out Apple was releasing a box with games.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 17
    bshankbshank Posts: 164member
    I dropped FiOS CableTV for for AppleTV + DirecTV Now at $35 deal and it is very nice except that DirecTV Now is not a full TV Provider on AppleTV.

    If Google or Hulu became a full provider, I would switch.

    Too many providers are not fully integrated with AppleTV to take full advantage of it.  Apple needs to promote that more.

    Yup! Very good point. A feature like Single Sign On would push me over the edge to give up my promotional pricing with DIRECTV Now to go with Hulu. I could go with Sling TV since they do, but I have one issue with them so I'd rather wait and see if Hulu or someone else does. 
  • Reply 16 of 17
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,178member
    I would like to see the figures for sticks/dongles broken out so we can compare usage of full devices.  From other scanning around I think AppleTV shows comparable share to other full devices.

    In terms of marketshare growth, Apple needs to go Jobsian and do the hard thing; create the best UX by forcing aggregation of movies & TV show content via their TV App, shutting down 3rd party Apps and constraining new Apps to non-TV shows/movie categories.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 17 of 17
    davendaven Posts: 543member
    I went from cable to over the air plus Netflix, YouTube, CBS, and iTunes content in descending order of use. Sure I pay $68 a month for cable internet and about $20 in content cost but $88 is a lot less than $140 for the old cable plus internet cost. Now I'm not finding much new content on Netflix that keeps me interested and I may drop that. My reception for over the air can be intermittent because of my location which is why I have the CBS subscription so I have at least some backup though I really should resume reading more and watching less TV.
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