When Google announced the Chromecast in mid-2013, many agreed that it was a great product that was easy to use. It also came with a low price tag of only $35, which alone almost guaranteed the success of the device.
Fast forward a year and a half, and Google announced that the Chromecast was the most popular streaming device in the U.S. in 2014, with 10 million units sold and one billion "casts" or streams from Android and iOS mobile devices as well as from the desktop Chrome browser, according to NPD.
As more apps started supporting the Chromecast, its usage per user increased as well, growing by 60 percent compared to when it launched. The Chromecast supports around 350 streaming services right now, but according to Google more than 6,000 developers are working on 10,000 Google Cast-ready applications. As such, Google will probably see Chromecast usage skyrocket in 2015, along with the sales of the device itself.
Streaming content alone is a growing trend that will become even bigger in 2015. Park Associates estimated that this year 25 percent of U.S. broadband homes will be streaming their TV content. This could in turn convince even more content networks such as HBO to put its content online and unbundled from the cable package. These services will give streaming devices such as the Chromecast a big boost in sales over the coming years.
The Chromecast has quite a few streaming competitors in the market, from the well known Apple TV and Roku (which was actually the most popular streaming device late last year until the Chromecast caught up to it), to new entrants such as the Amazon Fire Stick and Walmart's Vudu Spark.
Google's Chromecast has already gained significant momentum in the market, though, and thanks to its Android ecosystem, Google can also get hardware manufacturers to build Google Cast support into their hardware, making Google's "casting" technology even more ubiquitous. This year may also be the year we see a "next-generation" Chromecast with faster hardware and more features.