TCL Reveals 25 Most Popular Apps For The TV

TCL, one of America’s fastest-growing television brand and leader in providing streaming content, today published the results of a new national survey conducted by Ipsos on TV app usage, the proliferation of streaming on the big screen and the popularity of specific apps. According to the survey which uncovered and ranked the Top 25 apps used for streaming on TVs, the majority of Americans stream content on their TV – either directly through the apps on their TV or by connecting a smart device to their television.  The study revealed the diversity of apps that are streamed on TVs, with every app in the Top 25 watched by almost 10% of streamers.

The survey reaffirmed cord cutting will continue to be a major trend moving forward while cable subscribers are finding value in apps as a way to extend the use of their cable package and as a substitute for additional cable boxes.  Live TV streaming apps, Sling TV and Playstation Vue, that can replace cable were used by 10% of app users while Hulu, which offers current seasons of popular shows and is a favorite for cord cutters was used by 30% of respondents.  Premium and basic cable apps, such as HBO Go and CBS All Access that allow cable subscribers additional access to their content were used by 43% of app users.  Apps from Time Warner Cable, Spectrum TV, and Xfinity TV that replace a cable box were outside of the Top 25 but combined are used by 7% of app users.

“As streaming continues to grow in popularity, consumers are seeking out a wider variety of channels that deliver the content they love.  Five years ago, there were only a few apps that mattered, now when you look at the Top 25, all of them are being watched by millions of households that are passionate about them,” said Chris Larson, TCL senior vice president. “We recognized this growing need and partnered with Roku back in 2013 to develop the TCL Roku TV product knowing that they had the breadth of content as well as the scale and technology to remain a leader, ensuring that our Smart TVs would always have easy access to the most content. With more than 5,000 streaming channels it is no surprise that the TCL Roku TV offers all 25 of the most popular apps, but it is especially exciting to see that more and more Americans are seeking out and enjoying the vast variety of content we can offer.”

While Netflix (#1 Ranking, 73%) and the movies and TV streaming category dominated app usage, streaming music on the TV was also popular among app users with over 51% of Americans listening to music or watching music videos.  Four music apps cracked the Top 25 (Pandora (#4), Spotify (#7), iHeartRadio (#14), Vevo (#25)), with MTV and TuneInRadio just outside the Top 25.  Sports Apps were popular with over one third of Americans streaming at least one on their TV.   WatchESPN (#8), Fox Sports Go (#13), and NFL (#16) apps all finished in the Top 25, with NFL Sunday Ticket also receiving consideration.  Among Millennials, Fox Sports Go was the top ranked Sports app.

The findings reinforced the trend of American consumers cutting their ties to cable companies, using smart TVs like TCL Roku TVs to help save costs by eliminating the need for a cable box and extra devices. This new generation of cord cutters and cord nevers continue to discover and support the multitude of streaming apps available to them in a variety of categories, from movies and TV shows to music and sports.

Top 25 Streaming Apps for TVs

  1. Netflix
  2. YouTube
  3. Amazon Instant Video
  4. Pandora
  5. Hulu
  6. HBO Go / HBO Now
  7. Spotify
  8. WatchESPN
  9. Disney Channel
  10. NBC
  11. ABC
  12. Nickelodeon
  13. Fox Sports Go
  14. iHeartRadio
  15. Disney Jr.
  16. NFL
  17. Nick Jr.
  18. Crackle
  19. Google Play Music & TV
  20. Showtime / Showtime Anytime
  21. Starz
  22. CBS News
  23. FXNOW
  24. CBS All Access
  25. Vevo

The complete Top 25 rankings including a breakdown by generation and gender, as well as a list of which Smart TV platforms offer each of the apps, is available at

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About the Author

William B. West
William B. West
William B. West is editor-in-chief of,, and All three sites cover the latest cord cutters news, information, and updates.

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