Roku is coming off a monster quarter for sales of connected TV devices that run on its platform, and the company is extending its lead over competitors in the space.
According to Strategy Analytics, Roku’s streaming TV platform accounted for 30% of U.S. sales of connected TV devices during the first quarter of 2019. The firm’s new report found that there are more than 41 million Roku-based devices in use, including Roku media streamers and Roku-based smart TVs, accounting for 15.2% of all media streaming devices.
This gives Roku a 36% lead over runner-up Sony PlayStation in terms of devices in use. Strategy Analytics predicts Roku’s lead will stretch to 70% by the end of 2019 due in large part to Roku’s smart TV partner strategy.
By the end of 2019, more than 52 million Roku-powered devices will be in use, accounting for 18% of all connected media devices.
“Roku had another strong quarter in Q1 and continues to hold a commanding lead in streaming media platforms in spite of Amazon’s growing influence in the living room. Roku’s extensive content offering, comprehensive search function and simple and intuitive user interface have been key factors in its success, alongside affordable hardware and regularly updated software,” said David Watkins, director at Strategy Analytics, in a statement. “However, the company is much less well-known outside of the US and in order to succeed on the international stage it will need to face down the twin challenge of building brand awareness and drawing users away from well-established players such as Amazon, Apple and Google.”
Amazon is emerging as a challenger to Roku’s dominance in the smart TV operating system space. Strategy Analytics said that Amazon’s Fire TV OS was the second most sold streaming TV platform during the first quarter of 2019, with 12% of sales, followed by Samsung’s Tizen at 11% and Google (Android TV and Chromecast) at 9%.
“There was record growth in the smart TV market in the first quarter of 2019, and Roku and TCL have proved to be a great partnership in this rapidly growing segment,” said David Mercer, principal analyst at Strategy Analytics, in a statement. “Roku is set to become the US’s top smart TV platform this year in terms of sales share, and Google and Amazon clearly have their work cut out to stay in touch with the market leader.”