Streaming media player market grows 50%
Michelle Clancy | 30-04-2014
Escalating uptake of over-the-top (OTT) services was the engine for worldwide unit shipments of streaming media players to grow by more than 50% in 2013 to reach nearly 15 million units, according to SNL Kagan MRG.

And while that growth is expected to flatten out over the course of the forecast period, sustained consumer demand has actually been surprising, the firm said.

"While many felt that these products would be quickly replaced by other consumer electronics devices capable of streaming video such as smart TVs and Internet-connected Blu-ray players, the streaming media player market continues to shrug off such challenges," the firm noted. "Low prices and ease-of-use have led to continued consumer demand with many households enjoying more than one of these devices."

That said, challenges do remain. For one, approximately 90% of all streaming media player unit shipments occur in North America, SNL Kagan said. In order for the market segment to continue to growing, vendors will need to push their products into new markets such as Western Europe and select countries in Asia.

The segment is also fragmented. "While Apple TV remains the leading streaming media player product on the market, approximately 40 different vendors are currently shipping streaming media player products," the firm explained. "These vendors run the gamut from consumer electronics giants such as Samsung, Sony and Hisense, to start-up companies like Nano Tech and QPlay."