Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
27 July 2017
Apple TV falls behind Google, Amazon and Roku
Here’s something catching me off guard today. An eMarketer report says Roku is the nation’s most used streaming device. But that’s not the only shocking part. Apple TV ranks fourth behind Roku, Google Chromecast and even Amazon Fire.
Doesn’t Apple have the best brand of all?
Well, maybe. As we outline often, the Apple brand fails more often than it once did. It’s still the richest company in the world, judging by cash on hand. And the iPhone is the world’s most popular device.
“We want choice and control. No one tells us what to watch or when to watch it. We choose.”
But Apple TV continues to perplex the folks in Cupertino. Walter Isaacson’s 2011 bio of Steve Jobs ends with a promise from Jobs that he figured TV out. Of course, making that promise more than six years ago might as well be 100 years. A whole lot has happened since then.
What Apple TV lacks
I use Apple TV. But the logic behind its fourth-place ranking and Roku’s supremacy makes sense. Paul Verna, principal video analyst at eMarketer, says Roku is “the only major market participant not affiliated with a content or TV device platform.” Meaning, its neutrality and wide offerings make it the most sensible choice. (It’s also often cheaper.)
Meanwhile, Google and Amazon hook to their devices to own offerings, while Apple TV is limited. YouTube is not available on it. Neither is Amazon. Rumors persist that Apple will get into the original programming game soon. But that might not matter if the offerings from other providers are limiting.
We are living in a changing environment when it comes to our TV options. Streaming services are outpacing old-fashioned television in growth, especially among younger demographics. Networks like CBS are offering subscription-based networks over streaming devices (CBS All Access).
We want choice and control. No one tells us what to watch or when to watch it. We choose.
Roku stands tall in tapping into those wants. More than 38 million Americans use Roku at least once a month, eMarketer found. And it’s pushing to own a third of the market.
The original offerings of Apple TV promise more. But Apple’s culture of a closed platform is hurting it here. Loosen the leash, Apple.
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