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Cloud-based gaming platforms started to take off a few years ago, and Microsoft was among the first companies to develop a service that would compete against Google’s Stadia, NVIDIA’s GeForce NOW, and many other services. One of the most popular services is Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming service, which is constantly receiving new games.
With the launch of the Xbox Cloud Gaming service, Microsoft is now looking into expanding to different markets and categories, including TV and other forms of entertainment. A new report claims that Microsoft is planning on entering and releasing an Xbox cloud-gaming streaming device, which is rumored to work similarly to the Amazon Fire TV stick, and the popular Roku streaming devices (via Venturebeat).
The new device is expected to allow customers to access streaming services to watch movies and TV series, as well as TV shows and channels. Given that it would be a Microsoft product, we also expect support for the Xbox Cloud Gaming service and some Xbox integrations for a more seamless experience.
Microsoft is expected to release the new streaming device in the next 12 months, and Samsung is rumored to be an exclusive partner.
The new move from Microsoft is hardly surprising. It was only a matter of time for the company to join the already very competitive market filled with Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and other Android-running devices. Microsoft was the only major company that hasn’t explored tv streaming in the past, even though most streaming services have been available on Xbox gaming consoles.
How big is the TV streaming market?
According to a report by Parks Associates, Amazon’s Fire TV platform holds more than 36% market share as of Q1 2021. The same report also reveals that Roku is the other leading provider with 36% market share, while Apple TV stands at just 12%, and Chromecast devices at 8%. The report indicates that the only major company missing is Microsoft, although the company has a significant market thanks to the Xbox gaming console, which is used by a lot of gamers and users to access streaming services such as Netflix and others.
Another report by Statista reveals that Tizen (developed by Samsung) is the most popular platform. WebOS, Sony PlayStation, and Roku all play a major role, and Microsoft only holds 3.7% market share, according to the 2020 report.
The market has changed since these reports were created, but it’s clear that Roku, Amazon, and other Android manufacturers are leading the market. Apple has a relatively small share due to its premium Apple TV devices, while the stock TV operating systems and external tv sticks are more popular than ever before.
Both Amazon and Google have targeted consumers with heavily discounted Android TV and Firestick devices in the past. Amazon even openly admitted to be making a loss on some of its devices, especially on their Echo smart speakers. Google has also given out Stadia controllers, Chromecast, and Nest smart speakers to boost its market share and popularity.
Why launch a TV streaming device?
Cloud gaming and cloud-first services are taking off, and it’s the future. We all hate subscription-based services, but it’s clear that we’re heading towards a future where we will no longer own products and digital goods, but rent them for a monthly subscription. Microsoft has been working on that future for a long time, and the Xbox Cloud Gaming service is a clear example that it’s doing a great job. The fact that Game Pass subscribers get access to hundreds of classic and new titles is an excellent perk that slowly converts casual players into monthly subscribers, boosting the company’s market share and revenue.
A TV streaming device would likely help Microsoft boost its subscriber count. The service could offer even more perks and benefits to users who are already subscribed, and it could entice new users into joining the platform. The TV streaming market is extremely popular, and Roku and Amazon are the main leaders thanks to their great and affordable streaming devices that enable users to gain access to a forever expanding library of content.
Would you buy a smart TV streaming device if Microsoft entered the market? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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