Roku Builds Lead in U.S. Streaming Device Race, Says Strategy Analytics

NEWTON, Mass.—In the race to be the dominant streaming TV platform in the United States, Roku is adding to its lead over its rivals and is positioning itself to widen the gap between it and its next closest competitor by 70% by year’s end, according to a new report from Strategy Analytics.

The report, “USA Connected TV Device Vendor Market Share Q1 2019,” reveals that Roku’s streaming platform accounted for 30% of U.S. sales of connected TV devices for the quarter. According to the report, 41 million Roku-based devices, including Roku media streamers and Roku-based smart TVs, are in use nationwide, accounting for 15.2% of all media streaming devices.

“Roku had another strong quarter in Q1 and continues to hold a commanding lead in streaming media platforms in spite of Amazon’s growing influence in the living room,” said David Watkins, director at Strategy Analytics and author of the report.

The company now leads Sony Playstation, its next closest major competitor, by 36% in terms of devices in use, the report says, attributing Roku’s predicted growth by year-end to its smart TV partnership strategy.

The report also finds:

  • Amazon’s Fire TV OS was the second most sold streaming TV platform during the quarter with 12%, followed by Samsung’s Tizen at 11% and Google, including Android TV and Chromecast, at 9%.
  • By the end of the year, Roku-powered devices will total 52 million, accounting for 18% of all connected media devices.

“Roku’s extensive content offering, comprehensive search function and simple and intuitive user interface have been key factors in its success, alongside affordable hardware and regularly updated software,” said Watkins. “Roku has managed to establish itself as a highly respected and trusted brand in the U.S. with no perceived hidden agenda when it comes to promoting content on its platform.”

However, outside the United States Roku is less well-known. To succeed abroad, Roku must build brand awareness and chip away at users of well-established players like Amazon, Apple and Google, he added.

To learn more about the report, visit the Strategy Analytics website.

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.