Roku Tops Apple TV In OTT Usage: Study

Roku owners go over-the-top to view TV shows and movies more frequently than Apple TV users, Parks Associates claimed in a new consumer research study it presented at this week’s NAB show in Las Vegas.

The firm’s Streaming CE And Content Purchasing Habits study found that 86% of Roku owners use a subscription OTT service of any kind, versus 77% of Apple TV owners. Additionally, 75% of Roku owners use Netflix, compared to 63% among the Apple TV crowd.

However, more Apple TV owners use Amazon Prime Instant Video – 40% versus 28%, noted Parks Associates director of research Brett Sappington.

Apple TV also has a clear lead in terms of device sales. Last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook said total sales of the Apple TV broke past $1 billion last year, meaning that Apple likely sold about 10 million units in 2013. Roku has shipped about 8 million devices in the U.S., but has not released international sales figures.

The Parks Associates study also showed that the amount a household spends on OTT increases with the number of devices, with the connected game console seen as the “initial entry point for OTT video.”

"Many pay-TV subscribers are also OTT users, but they have to move outside of their provider's service interface to access OTT content," Sappington said. "Pay-TV providers ultimately need to retain access to the viewer, but operator set-top boxes have long been closed to anyone other than the pay-TV provider. Some are considering how they can facilitate the OTT experience without losing connection to the consumer."

In an earlier study that indicates the streaming video device market still has room for new entrants such as the Amazon Fire TV, Parks Associates said just 14% of U.S. broadband homes had a video streaming device by the end of 2013. The firm expects sales in the product category, which also includes gaming consoles, to hit 330 million units by 2017, nearly twice last year’s total.