The Early Days of Google TV Apps
How successful have Google TV apps been in its early days ?
We have been following Google TV apps since August 2011. Since then 64 exclusive apps for Google TV have been added. According to our analysis, these apps have a total install base of 4,793,000. Please note that 6 of these apps – which come pre-installed at Google TVs – combine to 4,441,000 of these installs. Only 352,000 Google TV exclusive Android apps have been downloaded so far.
Top 10 Exclusive Apps for Google TV With The Highest Install Base – January 2012
|App Title||Publisher Name||Pre-Installed||Launched||Rating||Total Install Base||New Install Base Added Last Month|
|Napster for Google TV||Napster||Yes||Aug ’11||1.3||903,000||258,000|
|Pandora radio for Google TV||Pandora||Yes||Sep ’11||2.9||818,000||227,000|
|CNBC Real-Time for Google TV||NBC Universal||Yes||Aug ’11||2.3||750,000||156,000|
|TV & Movies for Google TV||Yes||Nov ’11||2.9||698,000||143,000|
|Photos for Google TV||Yes||Nov ’11||3.1||640,000||80,000|
|Twitter for Google TV||Yes||Nov ’11||2.3||631,000||131,000|
|Redux for Google TV||Redux||Oct ’11||4.4||76,000||21,000|
|CNNMoney for Google TV||CNNMoney||Oct ’11||3.4||23,000||13,000|
|Maps on TV||Nerds@Work||Sep ’11||2||22,000||12,000|
|MotorTrend||Source Interlink Media LLC||Nov ’11||3.7||19,000||6,000|
|Thuuz Sports for Google TV||Thuuz.com||Nov ’11||4.4||16,000||6,000|
So far, Google TV has shipped on just with Logitech and Sony. The consensus among commentators was that the offering was overpriced, launching at $249, the remotes for both Sony and Logitech were clunky and ultimately, the experience was underwhelming.
We have noted previously that Android’s app strategy is squarely opposed to Apple’s strategy of apps separately designed for the iPhone and iPad. Instead Android follows an one-app-for-all-devices strategy. Hence, overall, tablet-only apps aren’t relevant on Android, we found. You can find an overview of the top 10 most downloaded Android apps specifically designed for Honeycomb as September 2011 here. However, in recent months Amazon has taken the lead in the Android tablet market - emphasizing content, a differentiated consumer experience and commerce. For the launch of the Kindle Fire, it lined up key content such as Facebook and Angry Birds, as well as offering Amazon Prime, its own streaming TV and movie service, as mobile analytics company Flurry notes.
In contrast to that, the low user ratings we see in Google TV exclusive apps seem to confirm an underwhelming experience for users. Most apps, particularly the pre-installed exclusive apps which have the dominant share of the install base aka have been the apps which defined the Google TV experience for most consumers, have low ratings.
The most successful non-exclusive Google TV apps in January 2012 include Classy Fireplace, Dragon, Fly! Free, CuevanAndroid, Google Music, aVia Media Player, Solitaire, Fireworks – the Best Free Game, IM+, BuddyTV or tinyCam Monitor Free While the ratings for these apps are much higher on average they do not get significant downloads to Google TV devices, yet.
While this may be all a sign of early days for Google TV apps the industry is clearly moving towards so-called smart TVs. Hence we have decided to launch an early version of our own search for Google TV apps today. In this early version we have 170 apps as part of our index.
All leading television manufacturers are now showing “smart” TV prototypes. “Smart” means some combination of apps, content purchases, video streaming, video conferencing, web browsing, new remote controls, control from phones and tablets, moving content around between devices, screen sharing between devices, home “cloud”, face recognition, voice control, and gestural input.
At the CES conference this year Samsung showed the most complete bundle of “smart” features at the show this year and is planning to ship a new flagship television line that boasts both voice and gesture recognition.
Samsung launched the first TV app store in February 2010. In a press release last October the company announced that downloads from Samsung Apps TV had grown to 10M downloads just five months after reaching 5 million downloads in May 2011 with an average of 50,000 downloads per day—double the number of downloads that occurred in May 2011.