Android TV vs. Apple TV: Which one’s the best for your channel?

Did you know that over 75% of people around the world use their personal devices to watch videos every day?

In a market where video streaming platforms are gaining such exponential growth every single day, establishing your own network or channel is surely going to be a very profitable business idea.

Over the past few years, both the tech giants Google and Apple have been gnawing to get past each other when it comes to delivering a complete streaming media experience with their own streaming systems, Android TV and Apple TV respectively.

So, naturally, as a potential TV network owner, you must be wondering, what is the right platform choice for my channel to be streamed on? Better yet, what platform is going to get MY network more views, success, and ultimately dollar bills.

Well, to make that choice relatively easy for you, we’ve gathered all the nitty-gritty info you’re going to need and packed it in a comparison between the two. So, let’s get to it.

Android TV: What’s the deal?

In 2014, after the discontinuation of Google TV, which was itself a streaming OS for media players, came into being, the Android TV, based on the Android platform, created by Google for television sets, digital media players, set-top boxes, soundbars, and many other devices.

Ever since the platform has been adopted by companies like Sony and Sharp as middleware for their smart TV devices, along with being used in Chromecast and other Google products, Android TV has become popular worldwide.

According to Google, Android TV has over 80 million+ monthly active devices registered on it which is an astronomical amount and much more than the subscriber count of many popularly successful TV networks right now.

The very interesting bit about Android TV is the interface. The TV networks or channels are placed in a horizontal ribbon format which makes the user experience and interaction quite amazing.

Since the overall usability of the platform as well as the experience and popularity are so amazing, Android TV seems like the obvious choice to place your TV network on, right?

Well, let’s not be too hasty and learn a bit about the competitor before we decide on where to place our channel and how to place it, for that matter.

Apple TV: Is it as Premium as they say?

Apple, being the king of digital innovation that it is, had to create their own version of a smart TV OS competitor to Android TV, and thus they did, in 2019. This OS was known as the Apple TV.

Initially, Apple TV wasn’t doing very well since the number of devices with Apple TV integrated on it and the popularity and usage of those devices wasn’t quite hitting the mark but with the creation of Apple TV+, the streaming platform courtesy of Apple, along with the amazing standalone networks, channels, and shows on the platform, Apple TV gained a worldwide reputation and become a heavy-duty rival of Android TV.

Canadian Actress Emmanuelle Chriqui was quoted saying, “I got an Apple TV and hooked it up right away. Undeniably, this is the way of the future, period. It just is, and that’s cool. What’s cool about this is that we got to do something so playful, cool, kick-ass and over-the-top.

So, with the rise of their TV devices, Apple came hard at Google with brand deals, marketing, celebrity assurances, and advertisements pushing Apple TV as the best OS and Apple TV+ as the best platform for streaming TV channels cordlessly.

As of 2021, more than 40 million people have access to Apple TV and its subsequent streaming platform Apple TV+. So, the market for cord-cutting platforms is definitely flourishing.

The interface of Apple TV is also ribbon-like. But the aesthetics and the design are both very sleek and premium, like all Apple system OSes. That’s why their devices have such an immensely huge userbase.

Ideally, you’re going to want to make sure your TV network is getting tons of viewers off of the Apple TV+ circuit as well because the high-end market works golden for paid streams and subscription-based channels.

Well, doesn’t that mean Apple TV is a better choice than Android TV for TV networks to stream their videos on? In some aspects yes, but in others, no, it isn’t.

Android TV vs. Apple TV: Which one takes the victory?

You must be confused. Well, to make things easy for you to understand, we’ve divided the comparison into a few factors where one of the streaming platforms thrives more than the other. So, let’s check out the actual winner of the comparison between Android TV and Apple TV.

Android wins the familiarity race

Research conducted in 2021 has stated that over 2.8 billion people over the world use Android smartphones. This simply shows that the Android OS covers a much wider variety of smartphones and thus, there’s an emotion of familiarity involved with Android.

That’s one competitive advantage that Android has over Apple since the userbase of apple is very specific and high-end. Android TV is also integrated into many third-party devices and TVs which makes its market share quite high. And since people trust Android in their phones so much, Android TV wins the familiarity race against Apple TV as well.

High-end Apple delivers High-end Experience

Apple is known to deliver high-end premium user experiences for its specific market. They’ve created a high standard of development, accessibility, innovation, and capability with their digital devices.

That promise of delivering the high-end experience is what makes people use Apple products and then stick to their userbase. This is where Apple outperforms Android.

Even in Apple’s Special Event of March 2019, when the Apple TV+ was announced as their premier streaming platform, heaps of celebrities from Jennifer Aniston to Oprah Winfrey attended the function and spoke for the Apple TV+ projects.

Apple knows what brings the people to buying their products. That’s why, despite having a very small targeted market, Apple TV products are selling amazingly well in comparison to Android TV devices.

Android’s Cost-Effective Approach

Pricing matters. Larger consumer device companies understand this very well which is why they tend to use a more cost-effective approach to target a larger audience.

Google understands that and that’s why Android TV devices and other Android products are affordably priced for everyone. Android’s cost-effective approach is another reason why their Android TV devices are selling well, and more people are switching to a cordless Android TV experience.

According to thorough market research, the lowest price of Android TV device boxes is around $45 whereas a similar Apple TV device can cost a whopping $219, which is significantly more expensive.

Although it might not hurt Apple much, due to the lower prices of Android TV devices, more people have access to them, and therefore, a larger audience gets exposure to Android TV and the TV networks and channels available on it.

Apple Originals Bringing the Heat

Apple Originals is a series of programming that Apple began creating and distributing around 2016. The first television show created by Apple was the Planet of the Apps.

With the rise of Apple TV devices and the creation of the Apple TV+ platform, Apple Originals received an exclusive platform and gained immense popularity which brought more people to buy their devices and stream the original production.

Apple television projects had amazing casts and great stories and this approach really enhanced the experience the Apple TV users had, creating a better platform for indie creators and broadcasters to showcase their talent on their Apple TV+ networks.

With regard to creating high-quality original content, Apple TV definitely overruns Android TV. So, if you’re a broadcaster thinking of creating their own channel, Apple TV will be a very beneficial platform for you.


Judging from all the capabilities that both Apple TV and Android TV bring, and the multi-million userbase that these platforms thrive upon, the right thing would be to utilize both of them for your live streams, playlists, and videos.

But how can you tap into such a huge market and get your network on both Android TV and Apple TV with minimal industry and coding knowledge? Well, that’s where comes into play.

Whether you’re a small content creator or an established broadcast team, schedule a Live Demo with one of our highly cooperative and professional agents today and get your very own channel up and running on Apple TV, ROKU, Fire TV, and Android TV in an instant. Your very own TV network is just the press of a button away.

In this last year, the number of cord-cutters around the world has tripled from 15.6 million to around 50 million people. So, if you want your Internet, Satellite, or TV channel to cater to all of them, make sure you stay ahead of the curve and up to date with all the news by subscribing to our newsletter.


Android TV Growth Is Picking Up Strong Gains

Google’s interest in the TV market has been picking up steam, fueled by competitors like Roku, Amazon’s Fire-TV, and other popular streaming platforms.

A new report published by Strategy Analytics is predicting what smart TV growth will look like over the next few years. In the report, it’s predicted that over 50% of households (globally) will have a Smart TV in the home. North America has already passed the 50% of households with smart tv with the report estimating by 2026 to expect a 90% threshold.

The driving force behind the growth is record sales of new Smart TVs. In fact, over 90% of all “flat-panel TVs” sold are smart TVs…AND that’s for TVs only and does not include streaming devices like Chromecast, Roku, Fire TV, and Nvidia Shield.

Today’s leader is Samsung with its Tizen operating system, however, it is noted in the report mentioned above that Google’s Android TV has made “Strong Gains”  in the last several years.

Google last reported that their Android TV had over 80 million active devices and had grown more than 80%.

Mentioned in the report, is that this growth is because platforms like those take much of the burden of development off of the TV manufacture. A top analyst for Strategy Analytics had this to say:

As smart functionality is no longer a point of differentiation but has become a check box necessity, smart TV manufacturers have had to make a choice between maintaining their own software and application ecosystems or licensing a software platform from a third-party partner. While many have decided to partner with the likes of Google’s Android TV and Roku in order to avoid the ongoing costs of maintaining their own platform, several brands including Samsung, Vizio and LG are going it alone and are looking to capitalize on the fast growing Connected TV advertising business.

For indie filmmakers and small broadcasters, the growth of Smart TV’s including android TV is great news. Giving new opportunities to broadcasters that typically would get turned down for large networks  – now broadcasters can build their own application and reach potentially millions of new viewers that were traditionally closed off from them before.

Here at TvStartup, we have seen hundreds of independent broadcasters take advantage of this technology shift and start their own channels on apps like Roku, FireTV, Samsung, and other platforms. However now with the growth of Android TV, it’s one more piece of ammunition in the independent broadcasters’ arsenal to blow away large media conglomerates and compete for viewership on an even playing field.

If you would like to see a demo on how you can get your own channel on Android TV or any other popular platform click here to schedule a live demo.

As the wave of technology shifts to Smart TV’s only more and more opportunities will emerge for small and independent broadcasters….make sure you stay in touch with us by subscribing to our mail list by clicking here.


The Genesis of Roku

In the early days of the streaming industry – Reed Hastings founded Netflix… which subsequently developed Roku.

Hard to believe? Well, it’s true. Roku had its beginnings within the streaming giant Netflix.

In 2008 Roku was a small company of about 15 employees and was interested in making a streaming box for Netflix.

Roku’s founder and CEO Anthony Wood pestered Hastings over several months into building a streaming box for Netflix.

“There was Xbox and PlayStation and Samsung and Apple TV,” Hastings said in an interview. “Frankly, we didn’t think Roku had much of a chance.”

Hastings at the time wanted to build a box In-House for Netflix but decided he would give Anthony Woods a chance. So, both made a deal. Wood asked to for a part-time job at Netflix while at the same time remaining the CEO of ROKU.

Roku XD/S

It took about 9 months to come up with the first box, but Hastings saw the ROKU box as a diversion to its main goal, which was to be available on all streaming devices including play-station, Xbox, and Apple TV. Those companies looked at Netflix’s streaming box as competitors, and Hastings felt it would block the growth of Netflix because those companies felt that by Netflix having its own hardware it would pose a threat to their own businesses (favoring one box over another). Plus, surveys indicated people wanted a box that would stream more than just Netflix.

So, Hastings decided to task Roku with the job of building the first streaming box for Netflix. Wood received from Netflix an unfinished device, some patents, and about 25 Netflix employees to do the job. In exchange, Netflix got about 15% of Roku’s equity.

Not long after Netflix sold its equity in Roku to a venture capital firm (Menlo Ventures) to avoid the perception of competing and favoring one streaming device over another (hence Xbox and Apple TV could have banned Netflix from their platform).

Had Netflix held its stake in Roku it would be worth over 7 billion today. Roku won big during the pandemic and shares continue to gain overall year over year.

“Obviously in hindsight, we missed a fortune,” said Hastings

Roku is the offspring of Netflix and it continues to be a platform for independent broadcasters and streaming services to be seen side by side with media conglomerates.

A consumer in a home using a modern smart television to stream various content.

However, Roku is not done yet; Roku launched and perfected their TV operating system and more than 15 brands of smart TVs are using Roku’s software. This has only expanded Roku’s distribution and influence over the Smart TV industry giving independent broadcasters a breath of fresh air in a world that had previously been dominated by large media corporations.

“Roku is the new cable and Satellite TV” says Brock Fisher Chief Executive Officer of TvStartup, a company that specializes in helping independent broadcasters get their own channels on platforms like ROKU, Fire TV, Apple TV, and many Smart TV manufacturers.

Fisher explains: “We are seeing more and more independent film makers realize the opportunities that exists in the Smart TV world, and you have to give credit to where credit is due, Roku was not only a pioneer in this industry, but they also lead the industry”.

As Roku continues to grow and gain popularity so will the opportunities grow for independent broadcasters to get exposure with a Roku channel without being on cable or satellite TV.

To learn how you can get your own TV station on Roku or other devices click here, and do not forget to sign up for our mailing list by clicking here.

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