Monday, October 27, 2014

Amazon's Fire Stick Is a Challenge to Google and a Threat to Roku

If Amazon’s product rivals Chromecast in sales, Jeff Bezos will likely be more than satisfied. Google sold about 3.8 million Chromecast players last year, tying Roku as the bestselling brand in the streaming media player market, according to market research firm Parks Associates. Although its sales have slowed this year, Google’s player accounted for 20 percent of sales last quarter and has supplanted Apple TV as the market’s second-most popular brand. Amazon’s Fire TV accounted for 10 percent of sales over the same period, and only 8 percent of people surveyed by Parks Associates said it was their primary streaming device.

Unlike Amazon’s critically panned smartphone, Fire TV has been generally well received. It was priced at the same level as its rivals, and Amazon pushed it heavily in TV ads and online. Amazon just continues to have trouble persuading people to buy its gadgetry.

Amazon is pushing ahead because it sees its devices as a critical part of its plan to sell more digital content to its customers. The latest move is part of a wider industry shift from streaming media boxes toward cheaper streaming sticks. “That is really changing the overall sale structure of the industry,” says Barbara Kraus, an analyst with Parks Associates.

From the article "Amazon's Fire Stick Is a Challenge to Google and a Threat to Roku" by Joshua Brustein.

Next: PS4 vs. Xbox One, Year Two: The Forces Shaping the Console War
Previous: How Roku Hopes to Move From Boxes to TVs

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