Apple TV struggling to keep up with Amazon Fire TV sales

Some new research indicates that Apple TV has fallen from grace, at least when it comes to streaming media boxes over in the States.

Apple, Amazon, Google and Roku dominate almost the entire market over in the US, according to the latest figures from Parks Associates – spotted by Digital Spy – with the big four holding an 86 per cent stranglehold when it comes to streaming media hardware.

However, Apple has fallen into fourth place in terms of unit shifted, behind Amazon which is now in third position. Roku is the market leader carving out 34 per cent of all streaming media devices sold in America, followed by Google which is considerably behind in second place on 23 per cent.

Barbara Kraus, Director of Research at Parks Associates, commented: “The market consolidation around these four brands forces new entrants to develop more creative features and functionality to tap into the strong consumer demand for streaming content.

“Devices with additional functionality such as the Intel Compute Stick may be a sign of things to come, where streaming is not the primary function but an extra feature to provide additional value.”

Almost a fifth of households over in the US own at least one streaming media box, and 8 per cent own a streaming stick which plugs directly into an HDTV, such as Google’s Chromecast.

As far as actual usage rather than unit sales is concerned, Roku is still the leading brand. Among broadband using households which own a streaming media box over in America, 37 per cent use a Roku device, followed by Google’s Chromecast on 19 per cent, and the Apple TV on 17 per cent (in this case, Cupertino does beat out Amazon’s Fire TV which is on 14 per cent).

Kraus further observed: “Device shipments and sales receipts are important performance measures, but an equally critical metric for device makers is ongoing usage. Usage will drive alternate revenue streams such as content sales and advertising.”