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Demand for Streaming Media Players Remains High

While much of the recent market research explores in-home usage of online video from a Smart or Connected TV point of view, today the vast majority of television sets are not enabled for broadband connectivity and internet access.

The growth of over-the-top (OTT) video entertainment services, such as Netflix and Hulu, is attracting attention to consumer electronics (CE) products that can support streaming media services -- while connected to a legacy TV set.

One of these CE products -- the streaming media player -- has enjoyed significant growth over the past two years.

Multimedia Research Group (MRG) has released its latest forecast on the worldwide streaming media player market. The upside market potential is significant, as more people seek ways to migrate their online video viewing from their notebook PC to their primary TV set.

Streaming media players, sometimes called OTT set-top boxes or digital media adapters, consist of products such as the Apple TV, the WD TV Live, and the Roku HD.

While these particular products are among the success stories of the streaming media player market, there have also been more than a few high-profile failures in the marketplace.

Among this latter category are the streaming media player products that never reached beyond initial low-volume shipments -- such as the Logitech Revue, Seagate’s GoFlex TV HD Media Player, and the Google Nexus Q.

MRG reported that in 2011, worldwide unit shipments of streaming media players grew to 6.8 million units. However, demand for these products continues to increase steadily and MRG has forecast that total unit shipments will exceed 8.3 million at the close of 2012.

While the market is currently on the upswing, there are several challenges that may reduce future demand -- including, how to competitively position streaming media player products against other devices with similar capabilities, such as connected Blu-ray disc players and video game consoles.

Key findings from their market study included:
  • Worldwide streaming media product revenues are forecast to grow 20 percent in 2012 compared with 2011.
  • Apple TV remains the leading streaming media player product on the market, recording over 40 percent of all global product shipments in 2011.
  • Since 2007, Apple has shipped over 13 million Apple TV products.
  • The worldwide installed base of streaming media players is expected to grow more than 30 percent in 2012, slowing to just over 10 percent by 2016.

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