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Google to critics: Actually, Chromecast usage is up

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Chromecast owners aren’t getting tired of their streaming stick, after all: Chromecast usage continues to grow, according to data Google (S GOOG) shared at its I/O developer conference in San Francisco last week. This comes after a recent study claimed that Chromecast owners use the device less than they did half a year ago.

Market research company Parks Associates made some headlines last month when it released the results of a study showing declining interest in Chromecast. According to that study, the percentage of Chromecast owners that use the device at least once a month to stream video declined from 78 percent to 73 percent from Q3 of 2013 to Q1 of 2014.


Google didn’t directly address those claims at its I/O developer conference, but a slide included in last week’s keynote address seemed to be all about calming worries that interest in Chromecast was waning. The number of minutes of usage of a 7-day active device increased 40 percent since Q3 of 2013, according to Google.

Photo by Janko Roettgers/Gigaom
Photo by Janko Roettgers/Gigaom

It’s worth pointing out that Parks and Google use slightly different metrics here. Parks looked at monthly use of all Chromecast devices, while Google focused on those that were online within a 7-day span. In theory, this could mean that both sides are right: Some consumers may have disconnected their Chromecast sticks completely, which would mean that Google isn’t tracking them anymore. Also worth noting: Google has actual hard data to rely on, whereas the Parks study was based on consumers saying what they did, which doesn’t always reflect actual usage.

Still, it’s interesting to see Google’s growth curve, which shows a huge spike over the holiday season as everyone was trying out their devices, with usage leveling off after that and then picking up again toward Q2 of 2014. The latter could possibly be attributed to more apps becoming available for Chromecast after Google opened the Google Cast SDK earlier this year.

3 Responses to “Google to critics: Actually, Chromecast usage is up”

  1. Eggman

    Keep in mind that the margin of error here is around 3 percentage points, so the difference that Parks cites between the two quarters is nominal at best, certainly not enough to justify a huge press release and the consequent buzz that Chromecast use for watching online video on TV is declining among users.

    Many research companies play this same game, which is unfortunate. However, industry publications are all too eager to repost them even when the differences are minor. Both parties should be more responsible about how they interpret data and what they write based on this data.

  2. A Ch0w, sneeze

    Happy chromecast user here. My only gripe with the thing is: why can’t it act like a sound card on my windows pc so I can just pipe all audio out to my hime theatre? Also why oh why does it only support Dolby Digital Plus for 5.1 audio? I don’t want to have to buy a new home theatre…

  3. Deceiving header. The simple facts are:

    1. According to Park Associates an increasing number of Chromecast don’t get used after sometime (somewhat expected, given the low price of the device — some customer just buy it to try and forget about it after some time);

    2. According to Google, the customers that still use the Chromecast (still use being the active 7-days figure) use it increasingly more (which is expected, not only because of the additional apps, but also because of natural selection — the customers using it less are the ones that stop using it, which increases the average of the remainder).