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Research from Parks Associates finds that 14 per cent of US broadband households plan to buy a streaming media player by midyear 2016 and that, as of the third quarter of 2015, 31 per cent of these households currently own a streaming media player, up from 27 per cent at the beginning of the year.
“Streaming media players will be a popular gift this holiday season, especially with more competitive pricing in the market and the expansion of new OTT services,” said Barbara Kraus, Director of Research, Parks Associates. “With the popularity of the category, it has now divided into two tiers – basic and premium models. Consumers who want basic content streaming will gravitate to streaming media sticks such as the Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV due to their lower costs, which also make them good gift options. Cube-shaped players, like the Roku 4, NVIDIA SHIELD, and the latest generation of the Apple TV, are premium players, with more features, such as 4K streaming and more internal storage, but still with a much lower price tag than a new smart TV or connected gaming console.”
“In 2016, streaming media players will differentiate their models and brands through additional features, such as content options or new technologies like 4K,” Kraus advised. “Ultimately consumers want a simple, uninterrupted experience in accessing OTT content, so that will be the minimum expectation for any device, regardless of the cost.”
Previous research from Parks Associates shows 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 in consumer usage when accessing online video content.