Amazon said this week that there are now well over 30 million active users of its Fire TV family of living room video streaming boxes. That number outstrips the 27 million figure that Roku provided earlier this week.
The “well over” 30 million figure comes courtesy of an interview, in this case with CNET. That seems to be the way that Amazon releases hard numbers now: Earlier this week, an executive from the e-retailing giant told another publication that there are over 100 million Alexa-powered smart devices out in the world.
According to CNET, that installed base “may” put Amazon in the leadership position when it comes to this somewhat small—at least compared to platforms like PCs, smartphones, tablets, and digital assistants—market for living room set-top boxes. But I think it’s far more likely that various smart TV platforms outstrip this number. And that it’s inarguably more important to measure the usage in services like Netflix and Hulu than the count just one of the device types on which they are accessed. After all, moving between streaming boxes is not very difficult.
Or, as CNET puts it, the market for video streaming devices is “exploding,” with the number of households with a streaming player quadrupling in the last five years. To address this need, Amazon intends to partner on more Fire TV-based smart TVs—following Roku’s lead—and improving its integration with Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant.
“There are things where voice is not going to be as fast [as using a remote] and there are things with voice where it’s not even going to be in the same ballpark,” an Amazon executive told CNET. “And we’re just going to keep working on making those parts great.”