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Roku and Chromecast Battle it Out for Top TV Streaming Device

by Sean P. Aune | July 13, 2014July 13, 2014 6:00 am PST

TV Streaming Family in the Woods - 01

TV streaming devices are on the rise, and it may surprise you to learn that Apple TV is not at the top of the heap in the U.S.

As more and more households cut the cord on their way to cable freedom, the popularity of set top TV streaming devices has continued to climb. In a study recently published by Parks Associates, the research group estimates that by 2015 25 percent of American households will have some form of streaming device. With sales on the rise, it’s Roku and Google’s Chromecast that are coming out on top.

Parks Associates estimated that in the U.S. the various Roku models accounted for 46 percent of the models bought in 2013. Second place went to the Apple TV with 26 percent. While Amazon’s Fire TV was too new to really make a dent this time around, it appears the biggest competition is going to come in the form of streaming sticks.

The study found that Google’s Chromecast sold as many units in its first six months as Roku sold in the entire year. However, not everything came up roses for Google as usage of the Chromecast has been slipping in all recent surveys each quarter. The Chromecast does have a very attractive price point, but the limited number of apps, and somewhat unintuitive controls seem to drive some people away.

While the Roku line may be winning in the U.S. streaming race, globally the Apple TV is still the king. Roku is only available in four countries so far while Apple’s streaming device is in dozens. To date Apple is estimated to have sold around 20 million Apple TVs compared to Roku’s estimated 8 million total sales.

Parks Associates estimates total global sales for TV streaming devices will reach nearly 50 million units by 2017. With more people looking to cut cable out of their lives, and estimates showing growth to 50 million streaming devices sold in 2015 alone, it seems like there will be enough room for all of the current players and even maybe a few more.

Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...