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US homes using media players for online content

More than 20 per cent of broadband households with Internet-connected CE use streaming media players the most for online video

Connected CE research from Parks Associates finds a steadily increasing number of US broadband households are turning to a streaming media player first when looking for online content. Currently, 21 per cent of US broadband households with at least one Internet-connected CE device use a streaming media player as the primary platform for online video, up from 12 per cent a year ago. By comparison, streaming video usage declined for both connected gaming consoles and DVRs and increased modestly for smart TVs.

“Streaming media players continue to stake out a growing portion of the connected home,” said Barbara Kraus, Director of Research, Parks Associates. “Roku devices are now the third most widely used connected CE device, trailing only Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation as the most common platforms to access online video content on a TV set. It is a rapid ascendance for streaming media players, and Roku in particular, especially considering the broad base of gaming console ownership compared to the lower penetration of streaming media devices.”

Parks Associates’ The Streaming Media Device Landscape reports that two-thirds of US broadband households connect at least one device to the Internet. Among these households, a Microsoft Xbox is the most commonly used CE device for streaming at more than 14 per cent, followed closely by Sony PlayStation at just less than 14 per cent. Roku is third at 10 per cent, surpassing brands such as the Nintendo Wii, Samsung, and Google for access to online video content.

Currently, 20 per cent of US broadband households own at least one streaming media cube player and 8 per cent own at least one streaming stick. As penetration increases, CE makers want to add value and generate new revenue streams from the connected living experience through information, entertainment, convenience, and utility.

“CE makers are expected to add more functionality to devices with the hope that the expanding usage can generate more data and increase revenue,” Kraus said. “In a sense, these are the same market forces that are pushing broadband operators to embrace smart home and connected health lines of business. More use cases running through the pipes increase the potential for revenue, customer stickiness, and data generation for operators. Device makers are leveraging similar opportunities.”

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