Amazon Fire TV, Roku neck and neck in U.S. market, TDG Research says

Both Amazon Fire TV and Roku lately have boasted some impressive growth statistics regarding active users, but one analyst firm thinks the companies are still neck and neck in the U.S.

Jen Prenner, general manager and global head of marketing of growth and engagement for Amazon Fire TV, revealed at last week’s Pay TV Show in Denver that Fire TV now has more than 34 million active users. Earlier this month, Roku announced its newest financial results and said its active accounts increased by 2 million from last quarter and now total 29 million.

Michael Greeson, co-founder of TDG Research, said that while both platforms are growing at rather remarkable rates, the user bases can’t really be compared on an apples-to-apples basis. Both companies’ definitions of active users are consistent, but there are differences to consider in terms of international sales and streaming box versus streaming stick market share.

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According to TDG’s “Benchmarking the Connected Consumer 2019” research—which is the 10th annual occurrence of the firm’s user survey—just more than 30% of adult broadband users have a streaming box, and 38% have a streaming stick. The data shows that Roku has approximately 51% share of the streaming box market in the U.S., the company has only about 30% of the market for streaming sticks. Fire TV, on the other hand, only has 28.5% share of the U.S. streaming box market but nearly 57% of the streaming stick share of U.S. households.

Greeson also points out that Fire TV devices are sold “aggressively” outside of the U.S., while the vast majority of Roku’s device sales occur in the U.S.

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“That being said, when we total stick and box users together, and broaden our focus from user households to all broadband households, 21% use a Roku and 23% use a Fire TV, putting the two about even domestically,” Greeson wrote in a blog post.