Chromecast Leads Home Stream Market for 5th Straight Quarter

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Competition for control of streaming home entertainment devices has never been stronger, as the urge to cord-cut traditional distribution media continues to gain momentum, and consumers seek to port video and music from the mobile phones and the Internet to TVs and speaker systems.

Apple, Roku and Amazon are giving chase, but it’s Google that appears to have the lead, according to the new Strategy Analytics Connected Home Devices (CHD) report “Global Connected TV Device Vendor Market Share: Q3 2015.”

Global shipments of all connected TV devices (including Smart TVs, Blu-ray players, Game Consoles and Digital Media Streamers) reached 52.7 million units in Q3 and are on target to hit 221 million units for the full year, representing growth of nearly 18% (from 44.5 million in Q3 2014).

  • Samsung continues to dominate the global Smart TV market from LG and Sony and it now accounts for 1 in 4 Smart TVs in use worldwide. During the quarter, Philips joined Sony and Sharp in offering Smart TVs with Google’s Android TV platform in a number of its mid to high end ranges. Android TV captured an estimated 8-10% share of the overall Smart TV market during Q3.
  • Within the Game Console market, Sony shipped more than double the number of consoles as Microsoft in the quarter although the Xbox One is expected to close the gap on the PS4 during the final quarter thanks to its appealing 1st and 3rd party bundles.
  • Total global sale of 9.2 million digital media streamer units see Google’s Chromecast netting a 35% market share (which compares to 20% for second-placed Apple, and 16% each for Roku and Amazon).

“The growing adoption of Connected TV Devices in the home proves that the living room TV screen is still the dominant medium for consuming TV and video content. The collective viewing experience cannot be replicated on a smartphone or tablet and so we expect the ‘connected TV screen’ to remain a focal point of homes in the future,” Strategy Analytics Senior Research Analyst, Connected Home Devices, Chirag Upadhyay said.

The global installed base of connected TV devices has now surpassed 660 million units, with Smart TVs accounting for 47% of the total. Samsung shipped the highest number of Connected TV Devices during the quarter, thanks to its leading position in the Smart TV and Smart Blu-ray player market. However, Sony still has the largest Connected TV Device footprint in terms of devices installed in homes, followed by Samsung and Microsoft.

Google and Chromecast are clearly leading in the home audio sync race. Although it’s a closed system, and only works with iOS and Android originators and compatible hardware devices (i.e., TVs and speakers), its lossless Wi-Fi connectivity and app-based ease of use are making it a favorite. Microsoft has supported streaming using a variety of CE consortium Wi-Fi standards, though it has not had as much success branding a turnkey solution with either its Lumina phones or Windows OS (which incorporates a “Play” streaming features in Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, having moved on from direct “Windows Media Player” branded streaming with 7). Xbox and Kinect also stream.

The Strategy Analytics “Global Connected TV Device” report provides quarterly global shipment and installed base vendor shares across four Connected TV Device categories: Smart TVs, Smart Blu-ray players, IP-enabled Game Consoles and Digital Media Streamers. Download the report here.

“Despite the growing penetration of integrated Smart TVs, digital media streamers, such as Chromecast and Fire TV, continue to prove popular with consumers thanks to their low cost and effectiveness at bridging the gap between the Internet and the TV screen,” Strategy Analytics Service Director, Connected Home Devices, David Watkins said. “While the long-term viability of such devices will be threatened by advancements in Smart TV technology, they are currently acting as significant components in Apple, Google and Amazon’s fast evolving TV and video ecosystems.”

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