Analyst: Roku increases its already-huge lead

Strategy Analytics says Roku had nearly 30% of all connected TV devices sold in Q1 2019.

What you need to know

  • The analyst says there are more than 41 million Roku devices in use.
  • Roku has a 36-point lead over the next highest piece of hardware — Sony PlayStation.
  • That lead may hit 70 percentage points by the end of the year.

It’s a good time to be Roku. We’ve known it’s been the most popular streaming system for quite some time. And a private report (it costs $4,999 if you want to read the whole thing) released today from Strategy Analytics not only confirms that thinking — it says Roku’s lead is going to increase.

The press release pimping the report (sorry, but that’s that exactly what it is) says that more than 30 percent of U.S. sales of “connected TV devices” in the first three months of 2019 were from Roku. There are now more than 41 million Roku devices — sticks, boxes, and Roku TVs — in use. And that numbers names up 15.2 percent of all streaming devices.

The next highest device in use is Sony PlayStation. That’s a little bit of comparing apples to oranges, of course, as PlayStation is a gaming console that also happens to be a decent streaming platform. So maybe take that with a little bit of salt. Regardless, Roku has a 36 percentage point lead over PlayStation — and the report says that could hit as high as 70 percentage points by he end of the year.

That’s a crazy big lead.

The report also says that No. 2 is, unsurprisingly, Amazon’s Fire TV, which came in at 12 percent of sales in the first quarter. Samsung’s Tizen OS (meaning Samsung smart TVs) was at 11 percent. Android TV and Chromecast were lumped together and managed 9 percent. Forecasting ahead, Strategy Analytics expects Apple TV, interestingly, to head to the bottom, somewhere around 12 or 13 percent — and be surpassed by LG’s webOS-based smart TVs. Also worth a note is the continued uptick of Nintendo, which is expected to climb above 20 percent.

What’s all that mean? Roku — which from our own internal analytics most certainly is the most popular device — is doing just fine, in terms of selling stuff. And Roku itself has said that its best-sellers consistently are of the sub-$50 variety. Combine that with the fact that it’s also easy to use, and it’s clearly got a winning combination.

Best-sellers

Roku Premiere

$55 at Amazon

Cheap and easy

There’s no two ways about it — 4K resolution and a simple user interface makes this one of Roku’s best-sellers.

TCL 6 Series

$599 at Amazon

It’s 65 inches of Roku TV — in 4K resolution with Dolby Vision HDR — for a ridiculously good price. And that’s even before it goes on sale.

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K

$49 at Amazon

Pretty much every spec you want — 4K, HDR 10, Dolby Vision HDR, Dolby Atmos — at a really good price. Plus, Alexa.

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