The release of Google’s Chromecast TV dongle is due to push the smart set-top box and dongle market beyond original forecasts, with unit sales now expected to pass 18 million in 2013, according to ABI Research.
Overall the market is expected to grow at a 10.8% compound annual growth rate between 2013 and 2018, with less saturated and developing connected and OTT markets like Asia-Pacific and Latin America helping drive this growth, said ABI.
The firm added that as the market develops, there will be “more dongle form factors” in the smart set-top box market, with manufacturers able to keep prices low, enabling customers to upgrade their connected platform without replacing the TV or purchasing costly upgrade modules.
“Despite stiff competition from a range of connected CE devices, the smart set-top box and dongle market offers an equally compelling user experience often at significantly lower price points. Google’s Chromecast device in particular sets a new low price bar for the connected CE market and as more applications are added to its library its value to price ratio will continue to grow,” said ABI Research senior analyst, Michael Inouye.
Practice director Sam Rosen added: “If Sony secures the rights to distribute live cable channels from Viacom, partnerships such as this allude to a content future quite different from the one many are accustomed to today. Content holders are already forging more direct relationships to viewers and this would be a natural step forward, but the Pay TV operators are likewise evolving and adapting to this changing market environment.
“The amalgamation of pay TV and OTT will become increasingly important, suggesting Google TV’s vision might have come too early but might grow into this role as a bridge or new entrants like Microsoft’s Xbox One might fully realize this unified vision.”