Apple TV Sees Major Sales Growth in 2015 But Still Ranks as Fourth Most Popular Streaming Media Player

The launch of the fourth-generation Apple TV, with Siri integration and a full App Store, resulted in a huge Apple TV sales boost, according to new data shared by Parks Associates. In 2015, Apple TV unit sales were 50 percent higher than unit sales in 2014.

Despite the surge in sales, the Apple TV continues to rank as the fourth most popular streaming media player in the United States, coming in behind Roku, Amazon, and Google. The Apple TV accounted for 20 percent of streaming media players purchased from 1Q 2015 to 1Q 2016, compared to 30 percent for Roku and 22 percent each for Amazon and Google.

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While Apple TV remains in fourth place among the four major brands, it had the largest increase in unit sales year-over-year, primarily due to its long-awaited new version, launched in 4Q 2015. Its share of sales in 2015 was 50% higher than its share in 2014. Amazon also had a substantially higher share of unit sales in 2015.

Parks Associates believes Apple trails behind because both Amazon and Roku offer multiple form factors with both standard boxes and smaller sticks available. Amazon, Roku, and Google also offer more affordably priced streaming media players than Apple, with its latest box starting at $149. Apple does, however, continue to sell its third-generation Apple TV for $69, more competitively priced with competing set-top boxes.

In total, 36 percent of U.S. broadband households now have at least one streaming media player, up from 27 percent last year, and media players from Amazon, Roku, Apple, and Google make up 94 percent of those. Media player sales are expected to grow significantly over the next few years, with an estimated 86 million streaming media players set to be sold globally in 2019.

Since Apple just released its latest Apple TV set-top box in October of 2015, there's no word on when another update is planned. Apple has recently been working on building out the tvOS software included on the fourth-generation Apple TV, introducing much-needed new features like dictation, app folders, and Bluetooth keyboard support.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

scott911 Avatar
78 months ago
with no 4K, lucky to be 4th.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
2457282 Avatar
78 months ago
I like my ATV 4 and like seeing Apple continue to invest in upgrading the features. Here are a few nice additions for the future if you are interested -

1. Adding a earphone jack to the remote (a la Roku) - well I guess with the lightning port maybe they already have it and just need to enable it.
2. Better controller support for gaming. I tried a couple in store and found them not great and the remote is terrible for all but a few basic games.
3. Better deals with providers so that their apps work without having to log into my non-existing cable account.
4. Amazon Prime (I know this is an Amazon problem not Apple, but still want it).
5. Homekit App to control things though the TV. Actually would love some integration that could set the lights and sounds based on what was playing.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Aluminum213 Avatar
78 months ago
Apple doesn't allow Ultra Violet/Vudu or Amazon Prime


and they wonder why
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Crosscreek Avatar
78 months ago
Been using Roku since the first generation and never had a reason to switch.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JackANSI Avatar
78 months ago
How many 4K TVs are actually being sold every quarter? 4K content is still pretty limited as well.
By that logic, the USB-C connector was a really poor choice for the MacBook too... As was the lightning port move, and original USB even... or devices with multi-touch touchscreen covering the entire front of the device.


In general the ATV4 is just underwhelming for the amount of time Apple had between ATV2/3 and ATV4 to make a real stunner. Instead, with the ATV4, we got something that would have been decently compelling in 2013 that is beaten handily in price and features in 2015.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RickInHouston Avatar
78 months ago
Looks like the answer is in - too high a walled garden. That is unfixable.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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