Dataxis research shows that some 40 worldwide pay-TV operators deployed Android STBs during the third quarter of 2017. Android is in general used by operators wishing to create more “OTT friendly” pay-TV offers as well as pure OTT services.
However, Dataxis research shows that the actual number of subscribers with Android STBs remains limited. For example, in Europe, for Q3 2017, less than 1 per cent of pay-TV subscribers are using an STB running with an Android OS.
Nevertheless, this is only the beginning of what Dataxis believes will become important. In fact, two-third of these operators started in 2017 and deployment have just started. Most recently, Rostelecom, the major Russian operator, announced a tender for the supply of 1 million Android STBs.
Finally, Android TV is not only growing in the pay-TV environment but also at the retail market level and in Smart TVs. At the retail level, many users have found ways to use Android STBs to access pirated content. According to the Federation Against Copyright Theft in UK, over one million of boxes running with an Android OS have been sold via the retail market over the past two years – with 25 per cent of users admitting to access pirated content with it.
Smart TV sets vendors using Android TV are not yet the major players, but the likes of Sony, Skyworth, TCL, Philips, and Sharp are amongst the well-known brands, while the two leaders – Samsung and LG – have their OS, but here also, Android TV is becoming significant.