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Streaming TV is blowing up but Samsung is being left behind

The World Cup broke a streaming record just like you thought it would

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Streaming TV has doubled over the past 12 months, driven by boxes like Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Sony PlayStation, and Amazon's Fire TV, according to streaming measurement service Conviva.

That's good news for the tech platforms looking to break into TV, even if the numbers were boosted by the 2018 World Cup.

The news is not so good for smart TV makers like Samsung, which actually experienced a decline in usage over the past year, a sign that TV makers are being left behind, while consumers opt for streaming services connected to Apple, Google, Amazon, or, in many cases, Roku.

"The demand for streaming TV globally is growing at a stunning rate," said Bill Demas, CEO of Conviva. "Roku and Amazon's Fire TV are leading the connected TV charge with growth and share of engagement."

The 2018 World Cup Final between Croatia and France broke a streaming TV record with 7.9 million concurrent streams. That's a rounding error on the estimated 1 billion estimated to have watched the tournament on broadcast and cable TV around the world, a sign that the streaming revolution is still in its infancy.

Yet the so-called smart TVs by makers such as Samsung, LG and Vizio have some catching up to do if they're going to compete with Apple, Google, Amazon, Sony, and Roku, which all saw huge gains in both unique plays and viewing hours over the past year.

Total streaming TV devices increased 45 percent over the past year, and and the number of hours of streaming TV consumed increased 115 percent, according to Conviva.

In terms of streaming TV usage, Roku was dominant in the second quarter of 2018 with 22 percent of all viewing hours, followed by PC viewing on Mac, Windows, and Chrome computers with 20 percent of viewing hours. Android mobile devices had 17 percent of viewing and Apple's iOS found had 12 percent of viewing.

The fastest growing streaming TV platforms, however, were Amazon's Fire TV which grew 140 percent in total viewing hours, Sony's PlayStation, which grew 102 percent, and Google's Chromecast, which also grew 102 percent. Apple's Apple TV grew 65 percent in total viewing hours and Roku grew 39 percent.

By contrast, Samsung's smart TV ecosystem dropped 16 percent in total viewing hours as consumers showed an increasing preference for the video ecosystems being built by the tech platforms.

Mobile devices also showed huge growth, driven by short form programming. Android, which accounted for 17 percent of total streaming hours, grew 45 percent in the second quarter from last year. Apple's iOS accounted for 12 percent of viewing and grew 47 percent over the past year.

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