Google to critics: Actually, Chromecast usage is up

Chromecast owners aren’t getting tired of their streaming stick, after all: Chromecast usage continues to grow, according to data Google (S GOOG) shared at its I/O developer conference in San Francisco last week. This comes after a recent study claimed that Chromecast owners use the device less than they did half a year ago.

Market research company Parks Associates made some headlines last month when it released the results of a study showing declining interest in Chromecast. According to that study, the percentage of Chromecast owners that use the device at least once a month to stream video declined from 78 percent to 73 percent from Q3 of 2013 to Q1 of 2014.


Google didn’t directly address those claims at its I/O developer conference, but a slide included in last week’s keynote address seemed to be all about calming worries that interest in Chromecast was waning. The number of minutes of usage of a 7-day active device increased 40 percent since Q3 of 2013, according to Google.

Photo by Janko Roettgers/Gigaom

Photo by Janko Roettgers/Gigaom

It’s worth pointing out that Parks and Google use slightly different metrics here. Parks looked at monthly use of all Chromecast devices, while Google focused on those that were online within a 7-day span. In theory, this could mean that both sides are right: Some consumers may have disconnected their Chromecast sticks completely, which would mean that Google isn’t tracking them anymore. Also worth noting: Google has actual hard data to rely on, whereas the Parks study was based on consumers saying what they did, which doesn’t always reflect actual usage.

Still, it’s interesting to see Google’s growth curve, which shows a huge spike over the holiday season as everyone was trying out their devices, with usage leveling off after that and then picking up again toward Q2 of 2014. The latter could possibly be attributed to more apps becoming available for Chromecast after Google opened the Google Cast SDK earlier this year.