Can Roku Dominate the Streaming TV Market?
The founder of Roku, a streaming device for television, said in an exclusive interview with FOX Business Wednesday that his service trumps Apple TV because Roku has more content than its competitor.
News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWSA), the parent company of FOX Business, recently participated in a $60 million investment in Roku.
Anthony Wood, Roku’s chief executive, told FOX Business’ Adam Shapiro and Lori Rothman that Roku has more than 800 channels, including Time Warner Cable, HBO Go and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX). “At Roku, what we’re focused on is bringing more content, making it easy to use, and offering low price points,” Wood said.
Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) focus is different than Roku’s, according to Wood. “Apple TV is more of an airplay box, an extension of your iTunes ecosystem,” he said, thus only targeting the Apple community nationally and internationally. By concentrating on the U.S. markets as a whole, Roku has been able to sell more than five million players.
Recently, the Roku 3 received great reviews on the Best Seller list, ranked at number three, while its competitor, Apple TV, was ranked number eight.
Roku in Japanese means “six,” which stands for the sixth company Wood has owned. In 2008, Roku launched its first device that set the trail for streaming Netflix to TV. Just last year, Roku streamed more than 1 billion hours of video and audio. The company now splits 90% of the streaming player market with its top competitor, Apple.
Unlike another competitor, the Xbox 1, which only targets gamers who also want the ability to stream TV, Roku taps into a separate category: people who do not need all the games but really want the ability to stream TV, Wood said. These consumers will not find the Xbox price worthy if it’s not being fully utilized.
Roku allows you to play more casual games like “Angry Birds,” but its focus is on streaming and making its user interface easy to use. For example, there is a new feature on the Roku 3 that allows you to search an actor, actress or director of a movie in order to find what you want to watch.