Monday, November 18, 2013

Roku Wants Market Share From Apple TV

The Holiday Season is upon us and Roku wants to be the OTT box for the home.  And they believe that they can take share of market away from Apple TV.   "Roku, which makes set-top boxes that stream video and subscription services to TV sets via the Internet, has stepped up the rivalry with an in-theater ad push touting its content advantage over Apple TV and other streaming players."  So while Roku is promoting its content strength, Apple has done nothing to upgrade its Apple TV product in 2013.  So is it going to be a fair fight?

Truth is, Apple TV and Roku have to worry more about the new gaming platforms coming from Sony and Microsoft.  The PS4 and Xbox One are meant to deliver a similar video streaming experience as well as be the gaming platform in the home.  And with 1 million PS4 sold in less than a week, will consumers buy more than one streaming media box. 

In the head to head, Roku has the better price and a rich variety of content partners.  "Roku sells several models at prices between $49 and $99, while Apple TV retails for $99. Some reports suggest that certain retailers will drop Apple’s price to $75 on Black Friday."  But Apple offers something Roku doesn't, and that is its iTunes library.  For those married to it, the Apple TV uniquely enables your HDTV to watch itune content; Roku and others do not.  But customers may not want to buy a discounted Apple TV box if they suspect that a new box is set to be released in 2014.  Roku may be striking while the iron is hot and that might just be the right call.  With Google's Chromecast competing as well, Apple TV may just be the box left behind.