Roku has for some time now been the number 1 streaming player sold in the United States. In 2016 about 50% of all streaming players sold in the United States was a Roku device and 13% of all Smart TVs sold ran the Roku OS.
Roku seems to be building off of a lineup of inexpensive but powerful streaming players starting at $29.99 and a library of over 5,000 video apps. That is about five times the apps that the Apple TV currently offers at less than half the cost. (The Fire TV also has about 5,000 apps but does not break them down between video apps and games, weather apps, etc., so the number of video apps vs video apps is unknown.)
Now Roku seems to be off to a strong start in 2017 with 3+ billion hours streamed in just 3 months. (In 2016 Roku streamed 9+ billion hours all year.)
“Americans seem to be viewing more content than ever before,” said Abby Reyes, streaming expert at Roku. “Before the advent of streaming, viewing decisions were limited more by scheduling, locality and familiarity. Now, we trade recommendations with a vastly wider circle to help us find what to watch. Although we love our spouses, we’re not always in love with what they want to watch. Instead, we may look to those who have a similar sense of humor to help us choose our next movie or TV show.”
Although things look good for Roku now, the end of 2017 may bring new competition. Both Amazon and Apple are rumored to be working on updates to their set-top boxes. Both devices are expected to be announced in late 2017.
At this time there are no rumors of new set-top boxes coming from Roku but there are several lines of new Roku TVs with 4K UHD coming from both TCL and RCA.
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