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Consumer Survey Says Interest In Google Chromecast ‘Waning’

chromecast tileThe Chromecast may have found favour with critics and early adopters but a new report suggests that consumer interest in the media streaming stick is now on the wane.

In a survey of more than 10,000 broadband-equipped households in the US, market research company Parks Associates found that more than 20% now own a media streaming device, like the Roku and Amazon Fire TV.

Of those, 6% own a Chromecast — a stat that has largely held steady since its launch in America last summer.

Chromecast Usage Dropping

Graph by Parks Associates

Image © Parks Associates

Owning the device is one thing but using it is another.

Parks found that the percentage of people using their Chromecast at least once a month for web browsing — ‘casting a tab’ — fell from 76% in the months following launch (Q3 2013) to just 57% in the first quarter of this year.

It’s a dramatic sounding drop. But is there a possible explanation to offset it?

More applications (Android, iOS and Chrome OS) now natively support casting. This means that owners have less need to ‘cast’ content from their web browser to their TV. Secondly, the novelty of shunting browser tabs to a big screen tends to wear off as the strengths of the device — which is arguably in casting media content like Netflix, Pandora and ESPN — takes over.

Video Streaming Usage Also Hits a Buffer

The Parks consumer survey also reports a comparatively small drop in the number of users streaming video through the device: dropping from 78% to 73% for the same period above. Furthermore, the consumer survey saw only 22% of Chromecast owners say that the $35 dongle is their ‘most frequently used streaming device’ at home.

John Barrett, director of Parks consumer reports, said in the press release accompanying their findings: “Streaming media players are starting to play a bigger role in home entertainment, but interest in new entry Google Chromecast is waning,” adding that games consoles and smart TVs remain preferred options.


But is this really bad news for Google and/or their streaming ambitions? I think not.

These stats actually show something incredibly positive: in less than one year on the market the Chromecast accounts for 6% of media streaming devices — a slice of marketshare that newer entrants will be lucky to reach in twice the time.

Minor drops in music and video casting aside, the device is clearly still actively being used for its standout streaming video feature by the majority (73%) of owners.

So sure, fewer people are casting website tabs to their TVs. But aside from feeding a good headline or two the drop doesn’t really indicate anything other than a preference for one feature of the multifaceted device over another.

Video streaming usage remains consistent, the device is continuing to sell well (and sell in newer countries) and developer interest is rife. Google’s Chromecast is looking healthy from where I’m sat.

  • JPB

    I love mine and use it quite a bit. But it is limited. It would be wonderful if it worked, for instance, in hotel and campus environments where a web based login is required for access. It also would be nice to hear if Googlecast itself was being picked up in more devices, making the dongle itself obsolete except for older devices.

  • Jeggy

    I’m almost using mine every day. But I’m really excited about that VLC feature and if it will work great I think Chromecast will be used more by everyone, because the only thing this needs is to stream media from computer to TV without problems or lagging and if it would supported Full HD videos It’ll be the best!

  • I don’t have one, because I don’t like the idea of a single-use device like that, especially when I already have XBMC, and can send YouTube videos and local content to it, straight from my phone.

    I’d be interested in getting an Android TV set-top box that could act as a Chromecast client, though. Of course, that would become my new XBMC box, too, and I could use Hulu and Netflix on it without having to send it through my phone.

  • FiveAcres

    I’m also looking forward to VLC supporting it. I just discovered that Rocket (Android music player) that I use now supports it, so I have been using it to listen to music the past few days. The sound is better from my television than it is from the Nexus 7 speakers, and I don’t have to wear a headset.

  • pawelkomarnicki

    For me Chromecast is most of the time an easy way to cast YouTube on my TV and sometime music. I don’t use the tab streaming much, as it kind of lags. Unfortunately Chromecast doesn’t allow streaming from network share, and for that I use Firecore-equipped Apple TV :-)

    • pawelkomarnicki

      Oh I just found out that BSPlayer supports chromecast :-) Definitely going to check this out today :-)

    • Chuck Cortes

      You lost me, what do you mean it doesn’t stream from network share?

      • pawelkomarnicki

        Connect to SMB or AFS share and stream network-shared file from there. But (I know) it’s not a thing Chromecast was designed to, so I will have to test casting from a software that will do the network-share part ;-) (see my own next comment about BSPlayer)

  • Mike

    I agree. We use ours daily for streaming Netflix, Google Movies, and other supported services. Local content we push around via DLNA. Casting a browser we tried at the start, found it novel, and have never done it since. So I see no news in that secondary function. Given it’s only been on the market a year in the US, and only 3 months in the UK, I think it’s doing very well. Especially considering how long Apple TV and the various Roku boxes have been out. Given what it does in the way it does it and for that price, I think it is brilliant. And if it’s overtaken by embedded android TV eventually, it’s only been pocket money. Fire TV will not see the light of day in our (UK) house, and as for Apple TV, it doesn’t even do BBC iPlayer ! Of course, they will kindly sell you an HDMI lead.

  • The Chromecast has been the best purchase I’ve made this past couple of years. Forget “smart TVs.” This suits all my needs.

    Note: Bolivia user here.

  • I have only used my Chromecast twice since I bought it. BUT, I bought it to use as a portable device. I have used it for two presentations, and just have had the need to use since. But I have it in case I need it. Always tucked away in my laptop bag. It is great for what I need it for, but I don’t use it for all my streaming at home. I have a Roku and other choice devices for that. I was glad to see that the Chromecast added Plex streaming though.

  • Skirlofthepipes

    I use mine daily for Netflix shows and also playing music in my house from Google Music and Pandora on my Moto X and/or Chromebook. I wish TuneIn radio and Amazon Music would support it too.

  • calden74

    I have to admit the Chromecast is kind of useless, I connect by ChromeBook and ChromeBox to my TV via HDMI and DLNA or even mini HDMI with my trusty Nexus 10. I found the ChromeCast to be unconvienant.

  • Thibaut B.

    The Chromecast would be better if it would come with a browser pre-installed. The user could then use his phone to navigate. Right now all I can do (with the phone) is to watch videos.

  • Zactu

    A year after released its available in Australia. That is just pathetic.
    People have already bought media boxes.
    HDMI ports on TV are all already being used.
    Google has not put the effort in to support it and make appealing to non-techies.
    Google has put it out there and then they finished with it.
    It seems like there was no plan to make it convenient and useful.
    It seems like they intended this to be a toy and something to experiment with.
    I wonder of Google management had a plan for this.

    • David Li

      They didn’t expect it to be this popular. What do you mean by “they finished with it?”
      It is more convenient and useful than a media box, you don’t have to struggle with a remote; just use your phone to search and cast videos. Also, it uses micro USB, not some propriety connector.

    • Chris Jackson

      Zactu I fully agree the slow release and non interest in markets outside the US is horrible, though Google arent the only offenders. It could have been better implemented marketed and supported…

  • Once the VLC casting gets released it will have a large portion of my video watching.

  • Ian Case

    It’s all I use. HBO Go, Hulu+, Netflix and Plex covers everything I’d want to watch.

  • Mike

    I am a big Plex user and i have tried chromecast and it was not a good time . No GUI and constant buffering. I got myself a Roku 3 and it is AMAZING beautiful GUI for evey app and no buffering at all Ever.
    chromeast does not have Dual band Wifi .

    • Yes the Roku 3 works great with my Plex server too! I also use a Raspberry Pi running the RasPlex OS ( The Raspberry Pi plus the SD card I had to buy for it and the case I bought all ran me about 45 or 50 bucks. The Rapberry Pi only streams whats on the Plex server, but it is just as good, if not better thatn the Roku 3 for streaming from my Plex server. I personally don’t use most of the extra channels on my Roku 3 other than the occasional NetFlix movie. So for me if I had to do it over again I would just get a Raspberry Pi for every TV in the house. I use the Roku in the living room and my kids use the Raspberry Pi in their room. I’ve got the ChromeCast in my bedroom but I hardly ever use it because of the horrible quality I get from it when streaming from the Plex. Most of the time these days the wife and I just watch movies on the iMac when in our room instead of trying to mess with the ChromeCast on our TV.