John Bell wrote on Medium about Google’s numbers.
Which brings me to Chromecast. All Google will say is they’ve sold “millions” of the $35, (presumably) break-even device. But recently they announced 400 million “sessions”. Sounds impressive! A recent headline states “Chromecast turns one: why this small streaming stick became such a big deal” and the subheads are “So cheap, and so different”, “400 million cast sessions”, “Competitors are getting the streaming stick fever”, and “Why Chromecast continues to be disruptive”.
So kudos to Google for an enormous number, and for getting great press from it. But, wait. We’re actually going to record “uses” of products now? Well, sure. Because it makes the number look bigger. Why wouldn’t Google report a number that makes you shrug and think “Google seems to be doing well” before reading the next article? Or buying into what’s clearly a successful device with a successful, stable, supported ecosystem?
Bell then dived into the numbers.
400,000,000 uses per year, if every user uses it seven days a week on average, means 1,095,890 customers globally. Whereas if each user is using it four times a week, that’s 208 uses per year. That would point to 1,923,077 customers.
Since Google has said they’ve sold “millions”, 1.9 is a bit low. So let’s adjust usage down a little bit to get past 2 million. That gives us a guess of 2,564,103 Chromecast users using the device 3 times a week.
Imagine if Apple reported the number of times the AppleTV is used.
In April, Apple said it has sold 20 million Apple TVs total, and the current numbers seem to point to 8-10 million a year. If we assume their engagement is similar to those of Chromecast users (3 times a week), that works out to between 1,248,000,000 and 1,560,000,000 “uses” of the product in the same time period.
At the lower end, that’s 1.2 billion sessions versus Chromecast’s 400 million session.