Google knows where your kids will be for Thanksgiving: in front of the TV.
Today, Google’s Chromecast adds support for new kids apps like Sesame Street Go and Nickelodeon’s Nick, along with something for the grown-ups, including Comedy Central, TuneIn, Epix, Encore, and live Indian TV provider, YuppTV. As expected, apps such as Nickelodeon’s Nick, Encore, and Epix will require a cable or satellite subscription to get in on the action, as will Comedy Central’s app, though the network does provide some limited content in front of the cable paywall. So, in affect, this latest round of apps for the Chromecast is more cord loosening than cord cutting.
The new app partnerships may help Google fight the usage decline of its 16 month old Chromecast device. Research firm Parks Associates released a study in July which revealed the percentage of Chromecast owners using the device monthly to view online video decreased from 78% to 73%, with only 22 percent claiming the Chromecast is the most used connected device in the home.
But since that time, Chromecast started being sold in Mexico, as well as adding support for several new apps, including Showtime and Starz, and a handful of games. Concurrently, the number of times users “cast” to the device rose from 400 million in July to 650 million by October, indicating a recent surge in usage.
With Google’s Nexus player underwhelming thanks in part to a seriously limited app selection at launch, Google will be smart to continue expanding Chromecast’s reach.
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