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OTT Video Drives Streaming Media Player Sales

The rapid adoption and growth of Over-the-Top (OTT) video entertainment -- such as Netflix in the U.S. market --  is generating interest for various consumer electronics (CE) products that support streaming media services.

One of these products, the streaming media player -- which is sometimes called an OTT set-top box or a digital media adapter, such as the Roku -- has enjoyed significant growth over the past two years.

Worldwide streaming media player unit shipments are projected to increase in 2011, finishing the year at just over 3.6 million, according to the latest market study by In-Stat.

"There are some significant challenges facing the market for streaming media players," according to Mike Paxton, Research Director at In-Stat.

Foremost among them is how to competitively position streaming media players against other products -- such as connected Blu-ray players and video game consoles, that are more common in both consumer households and in retail stores.

In-Stat notes that the ability to stream IP video is rapidly becoming a common CE product feature, rather than the central function of a device. Therefore, some leading streaming media player vendors may de-emphasize their stand-alone devices and focus future product development efforts on their streaming media software platform.

Other findings from the latest In-Stat market study include:

- North America is the largest market for streaming media player products, accounting for 82 percent of all worldwide product unit shipments in 2010.

- Apple TV remains the leading streaming media player product on the market.

- The increasing availability of Internet-connected TV sets and hybrid set top boxes will also impact the long-term viability of the streaming media player market.

- Even with the challenges surrounding the market segment, In-Stat is forecasting that the worldwide installed base of streaming media players will surpass 15 million by 2015.

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