Chromecast draws Fire Stick into price war

Staff writer
Future TV Asia

The new wave of pricing brought on by Google's Chromecast devices is putting mounting product differentiation pressures on the industry,” according to ABI Research.

As consumers have plenty of ways to stream media, the introduction of new, cost-efficient devices with distinguished functionalities has the capability to swiftly change the competitive landscape.

"The rise of Google's Chromecast devices, along with Amazon's Fire TV Stick, generated interest in the stick or dongle form factor, but these successes speak more toward pricing than design," says Michael Inouye, principal analyst at ABI Research.

"In China, for instance, the stick form factor is less popular than the box or puck because pricing between these device types is relatively similar,” said Inouye.

He said UI interfaces could help Apple and like-minded competitors, but it is a difficult move. Voice support quickly grew in popularity and touch interface has potential, but it has yet to make significant headway in the TV or core gaming markets.

ABI said that regionally, China's market, which remains the largest single market for streaming media adapters, had some of its growth opportunity muted, as restrictions to content and services within its domestic market impacted streaming media adapter growth.

The console gaming ban was recently lifted, which some speculate may see gaming try to reignite excitement in the market, but PC/online and mobile gaming remain the strongest markets making it difficult for these streaming platforms to differentiate.

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