A new report out today by Adobe Digital Index (ADI) put Apple atop a list of streaming media providers (via CMO), the Apple TV and iOS devices representing 62 percent of all authenticated pay-for-TV video views, or any online app that requires a cable subscription to access. Measuring all video content from free ad-based YouTube clips to "shows accessed through an authenticated app-based or TV subscription service," ADI reports that the streaming industry as a whole has grown a drastic 282 percent year over year.
Focusing solely on Apple, the Apple TV doubled its share of the overall online media streaming market, growing from 5 percent to 10 percent quarter over quarter. As ADI points out, a few of Apple's streaming rivals - Roku and gaming consoles like Xbox and PlayStation - saw increases in the past year, as well.
"Apple is sitting in the catbird seat because of its dominant position with access to consumers and a wealth of video data,” said Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst at ADI. “The challenge will be to see if it can monetize the strategy fast enough to get ahead of the movement away from linear TV toward digital viewing. Apple is clearly looking to play in the video-streaming market, and the growth of that market is a big indicator as to why.”
On the opposite end, these mobile- and living room-centric media solutions have cannibalized the streaming shares of desktop PCs and Macs. “It looks like desktops are losing the battle in the home," Gaffney noted. "Bringing the TV Everywhere viewing platform full circle and returning viewers to the living room.”
iOS saw a less dramatic increase year over year than the Apple TV, with a growth from 43 percent to 47 percent, while the company's Android competitors saw no growth at all on mobile, staying at a consistent 15 percent share of the streaming market. Although desktops are dipping in streaming popularity, notebooks are undoubtedly still a highly used source of streaming content for many people. As such, Google Chrome and Safari both saw upticks in pieces of the overall streaming market over the past year by 18 and 15 percent, respectively.
The key takeaway from our analysis is that the streaming video space is growing fast, and Apple is growing by building out an ecosystem of devices as it relates to that space,” Gaffney said. “Apple is leaning toward having a bigger play there than in the past. For marketers that means having a blanket approach to advertising is not going to work. They need to think about who is viewing and when. The strategy needs to be evolving and more complex to match the evolving and more complex nature of the landscape.”
ADI predicts that smartphone browsing will overtake that of desktops in 2017, noting that currently the preferred method for casually streaming content is tablets, "used specifically for leisurely activities such as video viewing and listening to music." With Apple's revamped Apple TV a no-show at WWDC next week, it'll be interesting to see how the company continues to grow the now three-year-old device. With Apple's plans to launch its own subscription television service sometime in the future, there's no doubt that the streaming media industry as a whole will only continue to grow.