Roku Tops 7.6 Million Monthly Users
Once Again Roku Continues to Lead the Pack with More Users than Apple TV
If you are a Roku fan, which is still one of our favorite media streamers, you will be happy to hear they beat out Chromecast, Apple TV and Fire TV as the most loved and used media streamer.
In a recent filing with the FCC, Roku the streaming platform which started out as an easy way to watch Netflix, divulged it had approximately 7.6 million users a month. This number has grown from 7 million users just 9 months earlier.
Along with more users, Roku continues to add new Roku channels at a steady pace. Recently we added a new Android/Kindle app along with a Roku Channel Launcher web app to help Roku owners keep up with the many channels available on the Roku platform. Almost every day we provide an update to our users of a new Roku channel added to one of several categories or pages of Roku channels. To download the app, please click here.
3rd Parties Flock to Partner with Roku
Unlike, Apple TV or Fire TV which both have media content stores of their own, Roku does not directly sell video or music content. Instead they provide a platform for other content providers to display their media content either for free or for sale. Roku charges it's users no monthly ownership fees. This is a completely different marketing strategy then those used by cable TV or satellite companies which make huge profits from renting out their boxes for each television.
Roku earns a small percentage of money only from channel developers which choose to include ads or charge their users a monthly fee like the Adult Entertainment Industry which has also embraced Roku as their media streaming platform of choice.
Along with Netflix, Amazon Video, and Hulu. Roku also has video content that can be rented from companies like M-Go, Google Play Movies and TV and Vudu. Now that channels like HBO and Showtime can be purchased without a cable subscription. This has pretty much taken the place of DVD rentals and for many cable TV and has made owning a Roku a very popular alternative. See - Consumers Cutting Cable TV in Record Numbers
Apple TV Lags Behind in 4th Place
Before Apple launched their latest streamer which now allows it's users to buy games and other Apps from an Apple TV App store it was in 4th place. Not having updated it's platform for several years along with no independent developers has hurt the Apple TV. Now that they have released a newer model, which still does not offer 4K or a Quad core processor it still remains to be seen if it will give the Apple TV a shot in the arm and help increase it's user base.
Initial results are mixed, because as a gaming system it falls far behind the new Nvidia Shield which blows pretty much every thing currently on the market away in sheer performance. The Nvidia Shield is currently - On Sale at Amazon again.
Fire TV Takes 3rd Place
Another competitor to Roku is one made and sold by Amazon, which recently kicked both Apple TV and Chromecast off of their popular store because they would not allow their Amazon Video App on their platforms. Roku is still being sold by Amazon in record numbers. Amazon came out with a Fire TV streamer last year and recently updated it with a newer model in 2015. While the first generation had overwhelmingly positive reviews, the new 2015 model had some issues early on which are or have been addressed by software updates.
The Fire TV like the Nvidia Shield both use an Android operating system. This allows users to install KODI, and Android apps like Showbox which contain a ton of free movies and TV shows. Although they are mostly from illegal sources. While streaming copyrighted movies and TV shows may still be legal unlike sharing and downloading, many industry experts expect this loophole could be closed with a new law. See - The Years 25 Best Television Series and Where to Stream Them
The Android platform itself is very powerful and while the Fire TV and Nvidia Shield may be slightly more restrictive, adding 3rd party apps is still relatively easy. Although not as easy as from an unrestricted Android TV box made by Minix or one of many other clones. See - Top 10 Android TV boxes for 2017.
Amazon could in a future firmware update, close the door to side loaded 3rd party apps much like Apple TV did with their 3rd generation streamer which could no longer be jail broken. See - 2015 Apple TV Vs Fire TV
Chromecast 2nd Place Most Used Streamer Behind RokuMany people love the Chromecast because they can cast videos directly from a website using their phone or tablet, turn the device off and continue watching on their television.
While Chromecast is really a lot different than both Roku and Andorid streamers which work via a remote control. With Chromecast, your tablet or phone acts as the remote.
While some people hate using a phone or tablet to control their TV and would rather hold of chunk of plastic with rubber buttons in their hand. Chromecast users have no problem using their phones or tablets to watch TV.
According to some big electronic retailers, one of the least returned media streamer is Roku. One of the most returned is Chromecast. Compared to the three other media streamers on this list, a Chromecast only costs $35 and is one of the least expensive. This could be a compelling reason to buy one for many people who are not yet quite ready to take the plunge to cut cable, but would still like to see what the fuss is about.
How We Ranked Them
1. Roku hands down easily wins the coveted number one spot as the best overall media steamer.
2. The number two spot would have to go to the Nvidia Shield or the Minix Android TV box like the X8H Plus.
3. Apple TV would be our 3rd choice, just to have access to the sheer volume of apps in the iTunes app store.
4. Finally the number 4 spot would go to Chromecast, although to be honest already owning a Roku 4 and an Android TV box, we would probably not use it much.
No matter which streamer you choose, it's still a bargain compared to paying expensive monthly bills to a satellite or Cable TV provider. In the end, these streamers point to a future dominated by streaming television and less and less by big cable.
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