×
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

  • United Talent Agency Reveals New Logo

    UTA Unveils New Logo, Corporate Image

    UTA raised the curtain Monday on a new corporate logo. The three-dimensional image is meant to emphasize the talent agency’s focus on uniting ideas, opportunities and talent. Building signage with the new logo will go up next month at UTA’s headquarters in Beverly Hills. “Our new identity captures the multiple facets and intersections of our [...]

  • Altice One set-top

    Amazon Prime Video Coming to Altice's Optimum, Suddenlink Cable Services

    Altice USA plans to launch Amazon Prime Video for Optimum and Suddenlink cable customers nationwide in the next few months, under a pact announced Monday. Altice is the third pay-TV operator in the U.S. with a distribution deal for Amazon Prime Video, after Comcast and Cox Communications. The cable operator is adding Prime Video to [...]

  • youtube leanback screenshot

    YouTube to Shut Down Leanback Web TV Interface on October 2

    YouTube is getting ready to retire its TV-optimized browser interface, also known as YouTube Leanback, on October 2, Variety has learned. The move comes as YouTube is putting a bigger emphasis on its native TV apps, but also represents a blow to users who directly connected their PCs to their TVs. YouTube started to inform [...]

  • Terminator: Dark Fate

    Paramount & Adobe Launch ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ Trailer Remix Contest

    Adobe has teamed up with Paramount Pictures to launch a remix contest for the trailer of “Terminator: Dark Fate,” which is set to debut in theaters November 1. The winner of the contest will get $10,000 as well as a one-year Adobe Creative Cloud membership and a private screening of the movie for up to [...]

  • Gabrielle Carteris

    SAG-AFTRA Urges Gavin Newsom to Sign Law Punishing 'Deep Fake' Videos

    SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White is urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign legislation that institutes penalties for nonconsensual digital sexually explicit videos, also known as “deep fakes.” The legislation, Assembly Bill 602, targets companies and individuals who create and distribute the videos in California without the consent of the individual being depicted. “We urge Gov. [...]

  • Facebook Portal logo

    Facebook Is Launching a Portal TV Device: Here’s What We Know

    Facebook is getting ready to launch a TV streaming device in time for the holiday season, Variety has been able to confirm with multiple sources familiar with the company’s plans. The new streaming hardware will be part of the company’s Portal family of devices, featuring a camera, and combining video chatting with TV viewing and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content