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Is Android TV Growing Much Faster Than Roku and Amazon Fire TV?

Android TV
(Image credit: Google)

In terms of global usage, Google’s Android TV just might be the fastest growing connected TV platform in the world.

According to data revealed by the Google Play Store, the YouTube app for Android TV has now been downloaded more than 100 million times. That’s double the 50 million Google reported in early June 2020. (Tip of the hat to Android Police for being the first to notice this.)

While not a precise metric, downloads of the world's most popular video app are an indicator that growth is quickening in terms of Android TV platform usage. 

Google officially said in may that Android TV devices had surpassed 80 million

In fact, Android TV seems to be growing faster than its two, ostensibly larger, key rivals. 

At the time YouTube for Android TV recorded its 50 millionth download five months into 2020, both Roku and Amazon Fire TV were touting active users in the range of just over 40 million.

Roku reported 53.6 million active users as of the end of the first quarter. Amazon said Fire TV surpassed 50 million active users in December, but hasn’t updated a precise figure since. 

According to Strategy Analytics data released in March, both Roku and Amazon Fire TV control 6.4% of the global installed base of connected TV devices—everything from HDMI dongles to smart TVs. Android TV controlled 5.9%.

Last week, Walmart started selling its own Onn-branded OTT players and dongles, powered by Android TV. 

And as Google finds more and more ways to reach consumers in the direct-to-consumer market, pay TV operators are increasingly adopting Android TV via the operator tier iteration of the product.

Just this week, video tech vendor Evolution Digital said its Android TV-powered eStream 4K set-top is now being used by TDS Telecom in the operator’s IPTV video service. 

Ultimately, of course, these so-called “platform wars” will determine which companies control the playing field for advanced advertising and usage data.