You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Google Sells 17 Million Chromecast Devices, Clocks 1.5 Billion Casts

Google has finally announced actual sales figures for its Chromecast streaming stick: Consumers have bought 17 million Chromecasts ever since the device got first introduced two years ago, announced Google’s senior VP of products Sundar Pichai at the company’s I/O developer conference in San Francisco Thursday.

And those 17 million devices are getting used, a lot:  Chromecast users have cumulatively hit the cast button 1.5 billion times, said Chromecast VP of product management Mario Queiroz during a recent interview. That’s up from one billion casts in January. Active Chromecast users are now watching 66 percent more content than at launch, and YouTube alone has seen viewing time go up 45 percent after a user activates a Chromecast device.

Google didn’t unveil any hardware upgrade to the $35 streaming stick at the event, but Queiroz did note that there are some significant software tweaks that should make using Chromecast with a wide variety of apps more interesting.

For one, Chromecast is getting something Google is calling the Remote Display API — essentially, apps can now use the TV as a secondary monitor to show off additional content.

This is being used by video games like Ubisoft’s “Speedboat Paradise” to project the race on TV while the phone becomes a touch-screen remote. And Autodesk’s Pixlr is using this technology to utilize the TV as a way to preview changes to a photo during the editing process while the editing tools are being accessible on the phone’s touch screen. It’s worth noting that this will be available to both Android and iOS apps, which means that Google’s casting technology is now more directly competing with Apple’s AirPlay.

Google is also making a cast-specific gaming API available to developers, which should allow them to build games that play out on multiple screens across Android and iOS devices as well as websites, and it has given developers the ability to queue videos within their apps as well.

This type of functionality was previously only available as part of the YouTube mobile app, which allows multiple users in the same room to build a kind of collaborative playlist with videos that are then being played consecutively. Now, any video publisher will be able to add similar features to their Chromecast-compatible app as well.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Tye Sheridan

    Tye Sheridan Starring in Survival Thriller 'Wireless' From Steven Soderbergh for Quibi

    Quibi has ordered another show with notable Hollywood talent attached: scripted series “Wireless” starring Tye Sheridan with Steven Soderbergh on board as executive producer. In the made-for-mobile-screens thriller, a smartphone has a central role. Sheridan (“Ready Player One,” “X-Men: Apocalypse”) plays a self-obsessed college student who is stranded in the Colorado mountains after he crashes [...]

  • Instagram

    Instagram Testing Hidden Like Counts Globally

    Like counts will be disappearing from Instagram all over the world starting this week: The Facebook-owned photo sharing service is extending its test of hiding like counts to all of its territories, Techcrunch was first to report Thursday morning. Instagram began hiding like counts for a subset of its users in Canada this spring, and [...]

  • Ted Sarandos - Netflix

    Ted Sarandos Says Disney Plus Launch Changes 'Nothing' for Netflix

    Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos claims he’s not getting distracted by huge competitors — like Disney — rumbling into the company’s streaming turf. The exec was asked what has changed for Netflix with the Nov. 12 launch of Disney Plus, which the Mouse House boasted as having signed up over 10 million users so [...]

  • Game Awards OrchestraThe Game Awards, Show,

    Game Awards 2019 to Play on 53 Cinemark Screens Alongside 'Jumanji: The Next Level'

    This year’s Game Awards, recognizing the top video games, creators and esports of 2019, is coming to the silver screen. In a three-way partnership, the Game Awards, Cinemark Theatres and Sony Pictures are teaming on a superticket program pairing the Dec. 12 live simulcast of the 2019 Game Awards in 53 Cinemark locations with a [...]

  • Lilly Burns Tony Hernandez

    Jax Media Soars by Amplifying Unique Voices of Auteur TV

    Jax Media has emerged during the past few years as one of television’s busiest and buzziest production companies. The New York-based company headed by four partners — Tony Hernandez, Lilly Burns, John Skidmore and Brooke Posch — has an enviable track record of scouting new voices and executing stylish shows on a less-than-stratospheric budgets. The [...]

  • Variety Digital New Leaders

    Execs From Endeavor Audio, Group Nine Among Those Leading the Way in Digital

    Every year, Variety seeks to identify the next generation of leaders in the entertainment business, looking for representatives in the creative community, film, TV, music and digital. This year’s group has a heavy New York focus: We selected executives from forward thinking companies such as Spotify, Group Nine and Endeavor Audio, as well as writers [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content