Tag Archives: Watching TV online

Roku Begins its Battle for Your TV Time

4 Jun
Roku capabilities include Netflix, Hulu, and even Angry Birds. Image: Amazon

Roku capabilities include Netflix, Hulu, and even Angry Birds.
Image: Amazon

In several rounds of fund raising efforts, media streaming device company Roku has managed to gather $60 million in investments from media giants Hearst and News Corp and British Sky Broadcasting.  Originally developed to stream Netflix movie and show selections to televisions, Roku has expanded their media selection to music and other media, incuding Hulu.com and internet gaming sensation Angry Birds.  Founder and CEO Anthony Wood says Roku intends to use the money to expand access to Roku services, such as partnering with companies to make “Roku Ready” televisions and other hardware devices.

The announcement comes hot on the tails of the Microsoft’s announcement to release the Xbox One, a revamped gaming console with a major focus on television viewing.  Both Roku and Xbox are setting themselves up to compete for precious consumer free time and leading the charge to move people away from cable and onto customizable online media.  Apparently Hearst and News Corp believe in their intention.  However, at a much lower price point, Roku may have the mass market appeal that Xbox will not.  The retail price for the Xbox One in set at $400, leaving it mostly to the enthusiastic gamer population to buy it.

Is the end of cable TV near? Image: AllMyFaves

Is the end of cable TV near?
Image: AllMyFaves

If Microsoft, Roku, Netflix and major media moguls push the entertainment industry to online streaming, one cannot help but wonder what is in store for cable companies and broadcasters.  It remains unclear whether organizations like NBC, ABC or CBS will do when they lose ground for consumer attention, especially since online streaming will likely have the ability to customize ads for the user, the way Google or Amazon can.  Will we see the death of television? It certainly looks possible.

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