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Roku Tops Streaming Device Market: Parks Associates

Tuesday was Parks Associates’ turn to size up the streaming media device market, revealing a study showing that 10% of U.S. broadband homes bought such a product – either in player or stick form – during the first three quarters of 2014.

Parks Associates said Roku remained the sector’s lead brand, with 29% of sales, followed by the Google Chromecast (20%), which supplanted the spot last held by the Apple TV (17%).

The Amazon Fire TV box, launched in April, held the fourth spot, with a 10% share, according to Parks Associates. Amazon started to ship its newer (and cheaper) Fire TV Stick last month, and has since labeled it as the fastest-selling Amazon device ever, though the company has yet to release any specific sales figures on it.    

The Chromecast and Amazon’s new entries have successfully siphoned share away from the market leaders. According to Parks Associates, Roku accounted for about 46% of streaming media players purchased in the U.S. in 2013, followed by Apple (26%).

On a broader basis, demand for these devices continues to shift TV viewing behavior.

"Nearly 50% of video content that U.S. consumers watch on a TV set is non-linear, up from 38% in 2010, and it is already the majority for people 18-44," said Barbara Kraus, director, research at Parks Associates, in a statement. "The market is changing rapidly to account for these new digital media habits. Roku now offers a streaming stick, and Amazon’s Fire TV streaming stick leaves Apple as the only top player without a stick product in the streaming media device category."

Parks Associates predicts that more than 25% of U.S. broadband homes will have a streaming media player by 2015, and by 2017, global sales of streaming media players will reach nearly 50 million.

The study from Parks Associates follows one from GfK, which found that 19% of TV viewers now own at least one digital media player from the trio of Roku, Apple and Google.