The battle for dominance in the set-top box market continues as Apple TV and Google Chromecast were dropped from Amazon.
Competition is beginning to grow fierce in the market for streaming media hardware. Apple has announced its new version of the set-top box Apple TV, and Amazon responded in earnest by dropping both Apple TV and competitor Google ChromeCast devices from its online stores. According to a report from USA Today, the company seeks to avoid confusion to potential customers interested in their own streaming media service, Prime Video.
Nearly 50 percent of American households currently subscribe to an online streaming service like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or Hulu, and the number of people watching traditional cable television is dwindling fast. Analysts predict that as early as next year streaming television will begin to eclipse cable as viewer preferences shift.
Apple TV and ChromeCast are both projected to experience robust growth in the coming years as people purchase hardware that allows them to more easily access streaming content from their homes. Networks and content providers have already been teaming up to meet the new demand for fresh programming on streaming services, and analysts think this will be the main driver of competition between providers over the coming years.
Apple TV boasts connectivity with other Apple devices, which makes it an attractive option for many consumers. Prime Video comes with a whole list of other benefits associated with the Amazon Prime service, including free two-day shipping and access to original Amazon programming.
ChromeCast is the economic option for people looking to plug in and access content right away. A smaller competitor, Roku, is expected to make great gains in the coming years as well.
While there is already a long list of streaming devices consumers can choose from, the ultimate driver of competition between companies will be their ability to offer the most compelling original content. In the meantime, Amazon has had to resort to measures like removing Apple TV and ChromeCast from its offerings in order to direct attention towards Prime Video.
Amazon recently announced a multi-year deal with CBS to license exclusive content for Prime Video. A press release outlining the details of the deal can be found here.