Roku Channels – A Smart Strategy
Last few months have brought an onslaught of boxes promising the best video experience delivered via Internet to the consumer home – GoogleTV, the new AppleTV, and Boxee. Roku, one of the veterans in this space, has also launched new models. I think within the Over The Top (OTT) video boxes – Roku has a very smart strategy – it has managed to marry the old paradigm of (TV) channels and the new model of Ala-carte TV watching (consumer gets to pick their channel). Netflix is what made Roku very popular but interestingly enough they have tons of channels.
Roku allows content creators to package their own content and deploy it as a channel – paid or free. This is, at least from the perspective of Content Producers, good. Each content creator/producer has the flexibility to retain their branding and experience. It, of course, allows for making niche or long tail programming easier. Consumers get to pick the channels that they want to watch.
As a company they are focused – they are not trying to introduce applications for gaming etc. – the Roku devices are video-centric – and continuing to add content to their devices, making it a wonderful TV watching experience [e.g. just realized WillowTV is available, goodbye Dish!].