Data Shows the Apple TV Is the Best Set-top Streaming Device You Can Buy

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Consumers watch more video on set-top boxes than computers or mobile devices. And among set-top boxes, Apple TV is one of the best.

That’s according to the latest State of Streaming quarterly report released by global streaming analysis firm Conviva. The report, released on Monday, covers the third quarter of 2019 — which was between July and September.

Compared to last year, users spent more time streaming than ever in Q3 2019. Conviva reports that time spent streaming grew 53 percent year-over-year.

The connected TV category, which covers small streaming devices and set-top boxes, continues to be the most popular way for consumers to get their fix — with 58 percent of the viewing hours, compared to 36 percent for computers and 33 percent for mobile.

And when it comes to set-top boxes, Apple TV ranks very high in terms of video start time and picture quality.

  • According to the report, Apple TV continued to hold the fastest streaming start time with just 2.6 seconds.
  • It also had the highest picture quality with an average of 6.8 Mbps.
  • Compared to this time in 2018, Apple TV was also the most improved — with buffering down 40 percent year-over-year.

But while the Apple TV is an excellent choice for streaming video content, market share statistics suggest that it isn’t as popular as other options.

  1. Roku held the top position with 44 percent of the market share.
  2. Amazon Fire TV closed out the quarter with 20 percent.
  3. Apple TV tied with Xbox for third place with 9 percent of the market.

Part of the reason why Apple TV hasn’t taken more of the market may come down to cost (just like in the smart speaker sphere). The cheapest Fire TV and Roku devices start at $25 or $30. Apple’s current cheapest Apple TV model is $149.

Of course, it can be argued that streaming hardware is only a small part of the video equation. That’s something that Apple appears to be keenly aware of — since it recently launched its own Apple TV+ original content subscription.

Apple TV+ is even available on some of the other market dominators, including both Roku and Fire TV.

Conviva is a global streaming media intelligence company that gathers data about user viewership. Primarily, it does that through embedded sensors in three billion video streaming apps.

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