Roku remains world's #1 TV platform but Tizen is catching up

Mike Wheatley

Samsung Electronics’ Tizen platform is the most popular TV operating system in Europe but Roku is leading globally based on its dominance of the North American market, according to new data released by Conviva.


The analyst firm’s Q2 2021 State of Streaming report gives us an interesting snapshot of the battle among TV platforms for global dominance, as well as some interesting stats. One of the most notable is that video streaming grew by 13% year-over-year in terms of the number of hours people spend viewing content.

People stream TV content on a lot of different platforms but not surprisingly its TVs that account for the bulk of people’s viewing time at 73%, up from just 55% in 2019. Smartphones account for 11% of streaming time, followed by PCs with 10%, tablets at 5% and “others” at just 1%.

Conviva’s report also highlights the diversity in TV platforms, which is quite the opposite of the the smartphone space, where Android and iOS are the two most dominant operating systems. There’s a lot of regional difference too. While Roku is the most widely-used platform globally, it has a very limited presence in Africa, Asia, Oceania and South America, for example. On the other hand, it has a commanding 38% market share in North America.

Roku is trying to make inroads in Europe too, where it currently has a 7% market share, but that is still some way behind the 19% slice of the pie that Tizen enjoys. Europe is actually one of the fiercest battlegrounds for TV platform providers, with Chromecast in second place with 12%, followed by Amazon Fire TV with 11% and Android TV and LG’s webOS both on 10%.

Conviva highlighted how “big screens have been gaining popularity all over the world”.

“In Q2 2021, globally, Roku made up 31% of global viewing time, while Amazon Fire TV and Samsung TV had decent showings at 18% and 12%, respectively," Conviva said in its report. "While Africa and the Americas had clear devices that led in the big screen category, Europe and Oceania had much more device diversity."

Samsung Tizen also leads in South America, while Android TV is the most dominant platform in Asia. In Oceania it’s Chromecast that leads the way, while Linux set-top boxes are the most popular in Africa.

Conviva also looked at average bitrates across the world, saying these were up in Q2 2021 by 8% compared to a year ago, to 8.34Mb/s on Smart TVs. They were also up 4% to 7.1Mb/s on streaming boxes, and up a huge 20% to 7.77Mb/s on video games consoles. The report also noted a big improvement in average video start times and buffering across all three types of device.

Looking to the future, Conviva said it seems that Roku’s dominance is fading, having slipped from a 43% global share of the TV platform market in the second quarter of 2019 to just 31% today. At the same time, “Smart TV-only devices including Samsung TV, LG TV, Android TV and Vizio TV” all saw their global market share increase.