Recently Cord Cutters News had an opportunity to chat with Roku’s CEO Anthony Wood. Here is our interview:
Q: There are now more options than ever to stream content on your TV. From other set-top boxes to smart TVs. Why should someone get a Roku? What makes Roku standout?
A: Roku offers our customers the widest content selection, an intuitive but powerful interface and great hardware at attractive prices. There’s a player or TV for everyone — whether you’re looking for a $29.99 player to plug into a secondary TV in your home or a 65-inch TV to hang on your living room wall. We offer every major subscription streaming service on our platform, as well as an increasingly rich set of free content options — Roku created The Roku Channel and rolled out “Featured Free” to respond to consumer demand for more free movies and TV episodes. And no one offers a better experience for consumers: our interface and remote are simple, and setup is seamless. It just works.
Q: Roku recently announced that you are expanding into smart speakers for Roku TVs. How important is this new line to Roku, and how do you see it helping you to continue Roku’s growth?
A: Roku is focused on improving the TV experience. Adding great audio dramatically enhances the TV viewing experience. Roku TV Wireless Speakers give Roku TV owners an incredibly easy way to make TV sound as good as looks — and at an incredible price.
Q: With the launch of The Roku Channel on other devices, what are your future plans for the service?
A: We created The Roku Channel a year ago to respond to viewer demand for more free long-form content and it already has become a top five channel on our platform by reach. Recently, we’ve expanded the channel to non-Roku devices, to Samsung TVs, the Web, and into Canada. We’ll continue to extend the reach of the channel to new markets and new platforms. We’re also focused on deepening the content within existing categories and adding new content categories, as we did with the recent addition of live streaming news.
Q: What trends do you see in streaming right now?
A: More content is coming to streaming every day. More viewers are cutting the cord. Advertisers are turning to streaming in greater numbers. Advertisers are slowly expanding the share of the $70 billion a year spent on TV ads in the U.S. to streaming platforms. 10% of TV viewers 18–34 years old are only reachable on TV via Roku — we’re well positioned to navigate this changing landscape.
Q: What is the greatest obstacle right now to the continued growth in streaming?
A: The greatest obstacle to streaming has always been “inertia.” Viewers, content owners, and advertisers are slow to change their ways. But I think we’ve seen a sea change in the last year, where everyone realizes streaming is the best way to watch TV. The world is moving to streaming.
Q: What shows are you watching right now?
A: I just finished Jack Ryan, which I enjoyed a lot. I’m also watching Midsomer Murders with my wife.
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