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Home » Crowded TV OS and CTV device markets no barrier to Sonos, TPVnScreenMedia

Crowded TV OS and CTV device markets no barrier to Sonos, TPVnScreenMedia

Crowded markets are no deterrent to some companies. Sonos likes its chances in the streaming media device business, and TP Vision looks to be joining the TV OS fray. Do either stand a chance of success?

Sonos entering the slowing streaming device market

Sonos is rumored to be preparing to release a streaming box. Details are sparse for the box, but three “strong” rumors exist. The first is that the company is targeting release at the end of 2024 or the beginning of 2025. The end of the year makes more sense than the beginning since the holiday season usually gives new electronics products a bump in interest and sales.

The second rumor is that Sonos is talking with Netflix to create a custom app for the box. Very often, Netflix works with manufacturers to ensure its app performs well on popular streaming devices. You may have noticed that the Netflix app frequently loads faster, scrolls better, and video plays with less delay than other apps you use. The excellent performance you are seeing is the result of this special integration. So, it would not surprise many that Netflix and Sonos are talking.

The third rumor is that the device will use the Android operating system as opposed to Android TV. The difference is important since an Android TV device would include the app store and give users access to all existing streaming apps.

Sonos is swimming against the tide

CTV device smart TV penetration of US TV homesThe current trend in streaming devices is toward smart TVs with streaming built-in and away from standalone devices. Today, according to Leichtman Associates, 62% of US TV homes use a streaming media player (SMP), and 74% use a smart TV. By the end of next year, smart TVs will be even further ahead of SMPs.

However, the fact that the tide is moving toward smart TVs might not necessarily be a problem for Sonos. It will likely target the high end of the market and homes already in the Sonos ecosystem. Since this approach is similar to Apple, the device’s price will likely be similar to Apple TV 4K ($129 to $149) rather than a Roku or Fire TV ($29-$50).

TVP Technology preparing to launch Titan OS

Hong Kong-based TV manufacturer TVP Technology is rumored to be preparing to enter the crowded TV OS market with Titan OS. The company is in a joint venture with Royal Philips called TP Vision, which ships TVs under the Philips brand in EMEA and South America. TP Vision typically powers its TVs with Android TV, a popular option for TV OEMs in EMEA and Asia. However, it is possible that some of the TVs are already shipping with Titan OS.

It looks like TP Vision is planning to follow a well-trodden path with its Titan OS. It has incorporated the product group as a separate corporate entity and plans to license Titan OS to other television manufacturers, the same approach as Vidaa and Xumo, among others.

TV OS market getting even more crowded

In 2021, Roku’s CEO, Anthony Wood, forecasted consolidation in the TV OS industry:

“There used to be lots of different companies making phones and phone software stacks. And now every phone that you can buy comes with either Android or iOS. And the same thing is happening in TVs. Historically, TVs have been very fragmented, lots of different software providers and lots of different places you can get a smart TV operating system. And it’s consolidating, and it’s going to consolidate down to a handful of winners.”

Global TV OS share Q4 2022In hindsight, Mr. Wood’s words sound like wishful thinking. There are at least 12 contenders in the TV OS space.[i]  Since he made the statement, Xumo and TiVo have entered the business. TV Vision appears to be about to with Titan OS, and I’m hearing rumors of more companies soon to join the fray.

Why are so many companies willing to risk entering such a crowded field? In the US alone, the TV business is worth almost $225 billion a year. Within ten years, virtually all of it will be routed through the TV OSs that control the smart TVs and SMPs. And grabbing a share of that huge pile of cash is just too big of an opportunity for others to ignore.

[i] Roku OS, Amazon Fire TV, Android/Google TV, Vizio SmartWatch, Apple TVOS, Samsung Tizen, LG WebOS, Hisense’s Vidaa, Xumo, TiVo OS, Foxxum, Skyworth Coocaa.


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