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Nearly 40 million Americans use Roku, beating out Google’s Chromecast

But smart TVs are the most popular way to watch internet video on TV.

Rani Molla is a senior correspondent at Vox and has been focusing her reporting on the future of work. She has covered business and technology for more than a decade — often in charts — including at Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.

Nearly 40 million Americans will use Roku to watch internet video on their TVs at least once a month in 2017, beating out Google Chromecast, according to new data from research firm eMarketer.

Last year, eMarketer had predicted that Chromecast would be more popular but had since revised its forecast.

Roku, which plans to become a public company this year, is expected to represent 23 percent of all connected TV users this year. Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV come in close behind with 22 percent and 21 percent, respectively, of connected TV users. (People can have more than one device.)

Since Roku isn’t affiliated with a content provider like Google (YouTube) and Amazon (Amazon video), it’s able to more easily secure app deals with a wider range of content partners. That makes it more attractive to customers who might want to watch, say, Netflix and YouTube as well as broadcast networks, according to eMarketer, which predicts that Roku will retain its lead among branded connected devices through 2021.

top devices for connecting TVs to internet

These devices are a distant second to simply using a smart TV or a game console like Xbox, which account for 48 percent and 37 percent of connected TV users, respectively.

Apple TVs are in last place with 21 million users, or 13 percent, due to their high price tag (starting at $150) and their lack of Amazon video support, according to eMarketer.

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