Early sales put Apple TV ahead of streaming rivals
James R | On 08, Nov 2015
The new Apple TV has only been on shop shelves for a week but it is already racing ahead of the competition, according to one new report.
Slice Intelligence, which gets data from e-receipts to measure online shopping behaviour, says that Apple now has the biggest share of the set top box market, with new black gadget making up over 13 per cent of sales – taking the company’s total share to 31 per cent. That’s ahead of Amazon’s Fire TV, which owns 28 per cent, Roku (25 per cent) and Chromecast (16 per cent).
There are caveats to go with the data, of course: Slice has 3 million shoppers sharing their spending habits with them, but that is still only a small portion of the market for any reliable extrapolation and the data has only been gathered over a short time. But it confirms that when it comes to Apple, fans will still come out in force to buy the latest product.
90 per cent of Slice users who bought an Apple TV were men, mostly aged between 35 and 44, and, crucially, were five times more likely to also buy an Apple Watch. While such loyal consumers may seem negligible, they represent a major factor in Apple’s ongoing success: there will alway be people ready to buy an Apple TV, regardless of the other options available.
Apple TV’s system, after all, rewards those within the iOS system: it is the only device upon which films and TV shows purchased through iTunes can work.
“As we have come to expect with Apple launches, the first buyers of Cupertino’s latest gadget are its biggest fans,” says Jaimee Minney, VP of marketing at Slice.
The figures also highlight just how many people Apple can rely upon to be loyal customers. Around 58 per cent of the new Apple TV adopters hadn’t purchased a streaming TV device in the last two years, suggesting they were holding out for this upgrade.
The question is whether the initial rush to buy will translate into steady sales in the long-term – Apple fans are loyal, but they won’t buy two or three boxes just for the sake of it.
But the size of the short-term response will be monitored by the industry, demonstrating, for example, Apple TV’s worth as a platform to develop for; rather than adapt an app for a range of devices, concentrating on a single platform with a guaranteed audience could prove to be more worthwhile.
What does it all mean for the UK? That’s hard to say: the figures are for the US at present, while the American Apple TV offers far more content than the British model. But Apple has its own sizeable following in Britain, so a similar spike in sales can be expected.
Is Apple’s latest streaming device worth buying? Read our review of the new Apple TV.