The competition among streaming media device is more intense than ever before.
According to a report by IHS (a leading company in business information, insight and analytics), about 57% of US households watch a streaming service monthly. “Viewing habits have change. People are relying on streaming over-the-top apps and supplementing their sports addiction with over-the-air television.”, said analyst Roger Entner. So the Net TV device market is getting bigger than ever before and expectedly to expand in the future. The battle field here is also heated up more and more. It is no surprise when streaming device makers are doing their best to win the market share.
The fourth generation of Apple TV ($149 for 32 GB of storage and $199 for 64 GB version) entered the market in late October 2015 with the presence of Siri, a new touch remote and more streaming apps. It is not difficult to realize the want to dominate the Net TV device market of the giant technology company.
On early October 2015, Roku also unveiled and started taking preorders on the Roku 4. The new TV box is shipped later the same month. It is sold at $129.99 with 4K Ultra HD streaming at up to 60 frame-per-second. It is necessary to note that the new Apple TV still does not support 4K streaming.
Remember back a little further to September, Google launched its new Chromecast streaming device with the companion of an audio device (Chromecast Audio) at $35 for each. In the same month, Amazon introduced its new Amazon Fire TV box from $99 with voice support and 4K Ultra HD feature.
In just 2 months, 4 major Net TV device manufacturers all launched their latest streaming devices with new features, more support on apps and streaming services. Households are confusing on what to choose for their living room.
To heat up the competition even more, Amazon recently decided to stop selling both Apple TV and Chromecast devices on its online store. As the company explained, this is to “avoid confusion” for Amazon Prime users since Apple TV and Chromecast do not support the Prime Video service.
In this competition, each company has its own advantages. Apple has an ecosystem including iPhone, iPad, iTunes with a huge amount of i-Products users. The new Apple TV’s interface with the familiar App Store is close to what users are used to on their iOS mobile devices.
Similarly, Amazon has its Prime subscribers who are encouraged to buy Fire TV devices to watch free movies and TV programs from Prime services.
Whereas, the advantage of Chromecast is the price, the lowest of the four. As for Roku, it is considered the most consumer-friendly one in terms of price options and the amount of content available.
Roku is currently leading the market. However, it is hard to say who will win the market over in the future. It all depends on what each manufacturer can offer consumers on price, hardware and content. The competition has just heat up.