Apple TV Has Edge With Developers in North America: Study

Apple TV may be struggling to gain ground in the consumer market against its TV-connected platform rivals, but it’s a big hit with developers in North America, according to a new study from video streaming architecture company Bitmovin.

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In that region, Apple TV is tops with developer in the category, with 38% adoption, followed by Roku (35%), Chromecast (31%), and Amazon Fire TV (24%).

The breakdown differs by region, as Chromecast has the catbird’s seat in the Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Latin America and Asia Pacific regions, Bitmovin found in a survey of 380 video developers in more than 50 countries.

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Bitmovin also found that Apple HLS is the dominant video streaming format, though developers are also eyeing a move to MPEG-DASH in the next 12 months.

H.264/AVC is still the dominant video codec among those surveyed, with 95% adoption as of Q2 2017, followed by H.265/HEVC (28%), VP9 (10%), and AV1 (6%).

However, H.265/HEVC fits most prominently into future codec plans (40% of developers plan to use HEVC in the next six months), ahead of planned adoption of VP9 and AV1.

“Whatever the use case, these organizations are definitely ready for the upcoming HEVC support on iOS and Mac,” Bitmovin noted in the study. “Android has had support for HEVC playback in native apps for some time, as well as with set-top boxes in closed loop systems where people control the encoder and the playback device, and Android TVs.”

VP9, the Google-developed royalty-free format, is gaining via its reach on browsers like Chrome (Google), Firefox and Microsoft Edge as well as Android devices. Netflix, Bitmovin pointed out, is also using VP9 for downloadable content.