Chromecast use declining in US, research reveals

Chromecast, the tiny dongle that was supposed to do big things, may not be on track for dominance. According to a new report, usage of the Chromecast has declined overall. Though 6% of households in the US have one, less and less are using it, instead turning to other mediums.

Parks Associates, a market research firm focussed on consumer devices, surveyed 10,000 homes with Broadband access. The overall usage statistics for viewing a web page, streaming music, and watching video all declined since purchase of the device. In Q3 2013, 76% of homes used the dongle to view web pages. That number fell to 54% in Q1 2014.

The device also saw a decline in TV and video viewership, where 73% say they still use it to stream that content; a drop from 76% late last year. Though streaming media players sit in roughly 20% of homes, a number up from 14% last year, the Chromecast is seeing diminished interest. Only 22% of Chromecast owners say it's the most used streaming device in their home.

Streaming devices come in third for streaming, just behind Smart TVs and Consoles. The problem, it seems, is Chromecast's low use-case scenarios for the average consumer. "Given the low price, many consumers purchased one and began experimenting with it, producing high initial use. Over time, however, owners developed a better understanding of Chromecast's usefulness and appropriate niche in the video-viewing environment" said Brett Sappington, director of research at Parks Associates.

Easy to use, Chromecast is finding it tough to compete in a crowded space. With cable operators giving us more screens to consume their offerings on via apps, and Consoles pulling double-duty as streaming devices, Chromecast may not make a lot of sense for many. Smart TVs represent another challenge, and could end up leaving Chromecast as that $35 thing you bought then forgot about.