Today (minus 90 minutes) is Chromecast’s first birthday. To celebrate it, we have two new bits of information to share. First is that Chromecast has reached 400 million casts, and second is that if you buy a Chromecast now, you can get 90 days of free music.
Chromecast is a wireless video dongle that streams video and music to your HDTV using a laptop, computer, or smartphone. All you have to do is plug it into your TV and you can “cast” certain apps onto the screen, but control them from your device. For a full list of the apps that are supported by Chromecast go here, but some of the highlights are Netflix, YouTube, HBO GO, WatchESPN, and GooglePlay. But what distinguishes the Chromecast is that it’s inexpensive, only $35.
But what exactly does 400 million casts means? Essentially, it’s that Chromecast users have sat down a total of 400 million times and used the device. Google hasn’t give exact details as to how many people have bought Chromecast (only that it’s “millions”), so the information on number of casts seems to be the substitute. Which is kind of strange. Chromecast certainly wasn’t a flop––when it was first released it sold out in the first fews days and has remained on Amazon’s best-seller list (in fact it’s in first as of this post). So it would be nice to know exactly how many people have bought the device, otherwise it’s hard to quantify what 400 million casts represent. But I guess it’s a very good thing since Google’s bragging about it.
To make the device more enticing, if you buy a Chromecast before the end of September you will get a free 3 months of music streaming from GooglePlay. GooglePlay costs $9.99 per month, so if you were planning on purchasing it anyway, you can get the Chromecast for only $5 more. That’s cheaper than Starbuck’s coffee. But it’s also a blatant hook––who wants only three months of music?
Chromecast currently allows you to cast your internet browsing using Chrome, which I think is really cool. But to be really convinced of its utility, I’d want to see a broader range of application that could be streamed. I’d like to use a word-processor, play a few games, that type of thing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a good deal, but I think the Chromecast has the potential to be a lot more. I would image that Google has this in mind, so I look forward to seeing how the technology develops.