As a society, we have a voracious appetite for online video—in 2013, the number of online videos watched by audiences worldwide increased by 80% over the previous year.
However, watching all this video content while hunched over a laptop or tablet screen isn’t always the ideal situation.
Enter media streamers, the nifty little devices that are giving users access to more content than almost any other entertainment device. A trusty media streamer lets you access videos on the internet and stream them directly to your TV, all in a package that’s cheaper than cable and easier than smart TV apps.
Low switching rate plaguing market growth
As more consumers move away from cable, the global streaming media device market is likely to grow at a CAGR of 6.02% during the forecast period and reach 50.77 million units by 2019.
For a relatively new technology, this growth rate is actually pretty tepid.
This is because, as it turns out, once consumers have found their media streamer of choice, updating or changing products really isn’t in the cards. New products have to deliver substantial improvements to grab attention and convince customers to buy another device, which is a factor that will adversely impact market growth.
Because of this, pressure is on for vendors to invest in R&D to introduce new features and reel in new customers.
The constant re-imagining and updating that media streamers go through in order to be relevant makes it hard for smaller vendors to even compete in the market, which means that the most successful vendors here are industry giants like Amazon, Apple, Google, Roku and Sony.
Top media streamer vendors
Apple requires very little introduction, since chances are most people have an iSomething in their life already. The company is the leading vendor in the market with a share of around 35%, thanks to the smashing success of Apple TV.
Roku is the second largest vendor in the global market with a share of around 25%. The company focuses on manufacturing streaming entertainment devices for TV. Its products are designed to deliver movies from Netflix to TVs using the Internet. Its streaming players can be connected directly to TVs, allowing users to access movies, TV shows, games, music, and extra channels.
Google is the third largest vendor in the market. Google Chromecast, its pioneer product, has taken a comfortable position as a consumer favorite. It accounted for a share of around 15% of the total shipments in 2014.
Amazon is the fourth largest vendor after Google. It accounted for a share of around 10% of the global shipments of streaming devices in 2014. While the company made its name as an e-commerce organization, it’s now looking to challenge Apple with its Fire TV media player and mini console.
Sony, one of the leading global manufacturers of electronic products for consumers and professionals, is the fifth largest vendor in the global streaming media device market with a share of around 5%.