Google Chromecast Usage ‘Waning’: Survey

The Google Chromecast has been a hot seller since its debut last summer, but usage of the popular $35 streaming adapter has been on the decline, Parks Research said, citing a survey of 10,000 U.S. broadband households conducted in the first quarter of 2014.

While ownership of the Chromecast is steady, at about 6% of U.S. broadband households, the percentage of those owners who use the device at least monthly to view Web pages on a TV has dropped from 76% in the third quarter of 2013, to 57% in the first quarter of 2014. But the percentage of Chromecast owners who use the device at least monthly to watch online videos has seen less of a drop – from 78% to 73%, according to Parks Associates.

“Given the low price, many consumers purchased one and began experimenting with [the Chromecast], producing high initial use,” Brett Sappington, director, research, at Parks Associates, said, in a statement. “Over time, however, owners developed a better understanding of Chromecast’s usefulness and appropriate niche in the video-viewing environment. Some continue to use Chromecast regularly, while others are choosing different options to get online video to their televisions.”

Despite the decline in usage seen by Parks Associates, the number of apps optimized for the Chromecast has been on the rise, with WatchESPN and Aereo among the recent additions. Support for the device among content owners and app developers should continue to expand following the February release of the Google Cast Software Development Kit. 

And the Chromecast is in a popular category. Adoption of streaming media players in general has increased to 20% of U.S. broadband homes, up from 14% in 2012, Parks Research said.

"Streaming media players are starting to play a bigger role in home entertainment, but interest in new entry Google Chromecast is waning," John Barrett, director, Consumer Analytics, Parks Associates, said, in a statement. "Streaming media players, thanks to their ease-of-use, trail only game consoles and smart TVs as the most frequently used streaming media device in the home. By contrast, only about 22% of Chromecast owners say it is the most frequently used streaming device in their home.”