Google is Pushing Android TV for Smart Televisions

The set-top box, a top-selling device that gives access to customers to stream services using their TVs has propelled the brand Roku to the top. Yet, the set-top box is just one of the many aspects of the business as the company has its eye fixed on having their technology licensed to companies who are in the business for connected televisions. Roku also gains additional income through the sale of ads compared to streaming content. However, Google is now directing efforts to roll out the Android TV operating system into more televisions worldwide.

Last year, Roku set a record-breaking 72 percent video stream which consumed over 5.5 billion hours. This impressive status has, understandably, made Anthony Wood, CEO of Roku to claim that their numbers doubled over Apple’s and tripled over Google and Amazon. The CEO made the claim when interviewed by Nilay Patel, editor-in-chief of Verge in New Orleans during the Collision Conference. Most of the active accounts with the company are in the US numbering a staggering 10 million active ones with an annual rough growth estimate of 50 percent! The CEO further envisions that a few years from now, any TV not made by Samsung will be powered by the two licensing technology giants of smart TV which are Android TV and Roku.

For the time being, Roku earns half of its income from their sale of hardware with the other half coming from their ad and licensing sales. But it has seen a fast-paced growth rate of income coming from their licensing and media business. This has made Wood rightfully state that about one-third of over-the-top ads use the platform of Roku. Wood also made an observation that TV advertising is still in the dark ages in reference to the traditional methods used by broadcast television. Roku brings a sharp contrast to the traditional methods of TV advertising by allowing marketers to make interactive and unstoppable ads meant to attract specific demographics.

The millions of Roku’s customers can only be reached using this method of TV advertisements since the CEO states that over half of their member base does not pay for TV subscriptions. The recent method of ‘unlocking the box’ which Google is suspected of pushing is not making the CEO happy about it. For $50 you can get Roku which large cable companies authenticate with to get access to a user interface as part of the cable subscription package. Wood says that this practice is being done by FCC to solve the problem of a user interface which has already been addressed by Roku. The CEO believes that this might add more expenses for the consumer and pave the way for giant companies like Google to enter the market.

Amazon has not been exempted from the interview as Wood states it is its biggest customer but, also one of its biggest rivals. Amazon has to shell out money to Roku in order to promote original shows even as they sell loads of hardware made by Roku. As they pay and sell for Roku, Amazon also has its own agenda with the creation of their own devices such as the Echo and smart TV sticks to become the dominating brand to rule every smart home.

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