Cupertino might not consider Apple TV a “hobby” any longer, but according to new data from comScore, the streaming device certainly is not viewed as a serious contender in the marketplace.
ComScore’s new figures show that — at the end of 2016 — Roku led the way for streaming TV boxes/sticks in the United States, with 18 percent penetration among Wi-Fi households. Amazon’s Fire TV followed on its heels with 12 percent, while Google’s Chromecast came third with 8 percent. Apple TV trailed in fourth place with just 5 percent.
It should be emphasized that this is 5 percent of surveyed U.S. Wi-Fi households, rather than 5 percent of houses with set-top boxes, so Apple’s numbers aren’t terrible. ComScore notes that live TV is still the dominant way that most U.S. customers consume their television, representing 84 percent of all viewing.
However, this is a fast-growing area and, as I’ve written before, it’s one that Apple previously dominated. Apple TV debuted back in 2007, making the device the oldest one on this list: Roku arrived in 2008, Amazon’s Fire TV in 2014 and Chromecast in 2015.
Therefore, Cupertino can’t fall back on claiming to be a newcomer like it can with Apple Music.
Right now, Apple’s upped its game to try and sell Apple TV. Today we reported that Apple is trying to come up with premium content bundles to sell the service, such as grouping together HBO, Showtime and Starz. It is also upping its focus on introducing Netflix-style original TV programming, although these shows are currently intended more as Apple Music add-ons rather than as something designed to sell the Apple TV.
Although Apple hasn’t released any official figures for Apple TV as of late, ComScore’s stats back up what others have said. Recent data from eMarketer suggested that Apple is currently “at the bottom of the U.S. connected TV market, behind Google Chromecast and Roku, with its share shrinking.”
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