Roku does one thing — namely, making streaming set-top boxes and sticks — and does it extremely well, as evidenced by the company’s lead in market share for streaming devices.
In the first quarter of 2016, one-third of streaming devices owned in U.S. broadband households were manufactured by Roku. That is a pretty substantial chunk, given the big names making up the competition. This year, though, a new consumer research report from Parks Associates indicates that Roku now owns 37 percent of the market share, and until a competitor shakes things up, we do not expect that trend to end.
Amazon’s line of Fire TV devices also experienced a sizable improvement over last year’s showing, clocking in at 24 percent (compared to 16 percent in 2016). Google’s share, dependent solely upon the Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra, dropped to 18 percent, while the Apple TV now trails the pack at 15 percent.
According to Parks senior analyst Glenn Hower, streaming media players are now present in one-third of all U.S. broadband households. That is not all, either; 45 percent of those households are currently home to smart TVs, and nearly half have gaming consoles.
Parks Associates also estimates that more than 15 million smart speakers with digital assistants — think Google Home (Google Assistant) and Amazon Echo (Alexa) — were sold in the U.S. in 2016. The full report examines the effects of over-the-top (OTT) content distribution on the shifting consumer electronics industry.
Roku’s continued dominance is likely a result of the company’s diverse selection and excellent operating system, which features an awesome cross-app search function that returns results quickly and painlessly. From the uber-affordable Roku Express to the top-shelf Roku Premiere, each and every streaming device made by Roku is more than deserving of a spot next to (or plugged into) your TV.
Roku’s even partnered with a number of different television manufacturers (see the list here) to bring its platform to certain smart TV models — an encouraging sign for the future, as many smart TV operating systems can be clunky and cumbersome.
If you would like our opinion on the best streaming device, check out our roundup.