The use of connected TV devices is soaring with 168.1 million people in the US using an internet-connected TV this year, up 10.1% over 2016. Notably, Smart TV users will make up nearly half that number, with 81.2 million users in 2017. That's a sharp increase of 30.8%. The surge of Smart TV users has led eMarketer to revise down its forecast for third party connectivity devices.
eMarketer estimates that 38.9 million Americans will use a Roku device at least once a month, up 19.3% vs. 2016. As a result, the device will capture 23.1% of all connected TV users.
“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, over-the-top (OTT) service providers and social media companies,” said Paul Verna, principal video analyst. “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.”
Roku’s closet competitor in the US is Chromecast, which will have 36.9 million users this year, equating to 22.0% of connected TV users. Meanwhile, Amazon Fire TV will have 35.8 million users in 2017, or 21.3% of connected TV users.
eMarketer says the Apple TV comes in at a distant fourth with 21.3 million users this year (12.7% of US connected TV users). It also predicts that the Apple TV will continue to fall in popularity, adding less than 4 million users by the end of 2021 compared to 20-30 million for its competitors.
“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,” Verna said. “Apple TV devices currently start at $150, whereas Google, Amazon and Roku all sell streaming sticks that are priced well below $40.”
Check out the chart below for more details...