Amazon came out the big winner in the global connected devices market during Q4 2020, boosted by COVID-19 lock downs that generated a spike in streaming entertainment use, according to a study released Tuesday by Strategy Analytics.

The market research firm said that overall, global sales of connected TV devices, which include smart TVs, streamers, and gaming consoles) hit a new record in Q4 2020 of 109.1 million units, pushing overall sales for the year to 305.3 million units.

Within that, Strategy Analytics’ TV Streaming Platforms service found Amazon in the period became the market leader for the first time with sales of 13.2 million devices and a market share of 12.1%. The previous leader, Samsung, dropped into second place as Sony maintained its third place position behind the successful launch of its new generation PS5 gaming consoles.

Looking forward, Strategy Analytics predicted continued growth in 2021 based on the momentum of TV viewers moving toward internet-based video delivery services as they “cut the cord” to traditional pay-TV services like cable, satellite and telco TV.

According to the firm’s data, global shipments of smart TVs reached 186 million units while media streamers reached 81 million units over the course of last year.

China’s TCL was another big winner in the period after seeing growth globally of its popular smart TVs in 2020, to reach second place behind Samsung and ahead of LG, the report found.

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Among the contenders in the global media streaming adapter market, Amazon and Roku both added to their leads over Google and Apple, and together accounted for more than 60% of that market segment.

In a statement on the study’s release, David Watkins, Strategy Analytics TV Streaming Platforms director said, “Q4 is always a strong period for home entertainment products, and in spite of the pandemic 2020 didn’t disappoint. Demand for connected TV devices remained strong throughout the holiday period as consumers in most major economies preferred to enjoy streaming video services on their big screens.”

“Amazon has had great success with its Fire TV Stick 4K, which became the world’s best-selling digital media streamer device in 2020,” said Edouard Bouffenie, Strategy Analytics senior analyst. “However, the market remains fragmented overall and there is still a long way to go in the battle to build global-scale TV streaming platforms during the 2020s.”

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By Greg Tarr

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