Streaming media players reaching saturation

July 24, 2019
According to Parks Associates, 39% of U.S. broadband households own a streaming media player, a 1% increase over 2018, indicating ownership has flattened, although ...

According to Parks Associates, 39% of U.S. broadband households own a streaming media player, a 1% increase over 2018, indicating ownership has flattened, although purchase intentions are higher for 2019 compared to previous years. The research house says connected video device manufacturers may need to shift focus from hardware sales to service and advertising revenue, as ownership reaches saturation.

"Streaming media has reshaped how U.S. consumers interact with entertainment content and services, so as the market matures, sales increasingly come at another vendor's expense," said Kristen Hanich, senior analyst, Parks Associates. "Video-quality features are the most important factors when consumers buy a connected video device, although Roku and Amazon have certainly benefited among streaming media players by having broad product portfolios that include lower price points."

Among streaming media players, Roku and Amazon's Fire TV are the clear market leaders with almost 70% of the installed base of streaming media players in the United States. Consumer-reported data indicates that between Q1 2017 and Q1 2019, Roku's share of the U.S. streaming media player installed base grew from 37% to 39% while Amazon's share of the installed base increased from 24% to 30%.

"As the addressable market shrinks, rivalry increases. The combined installed base for Roku and Amazon is three times larger than the nearest competitor," said Craig Leslie, senior analyst at Parks. "The adoption of Roku and Fire TV streaming media players continues to grow at the expense of Chromecast and Apple TV."        

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