Roku’s CEO today sat down with CNBC to discuss Apple bringing its refreshed TV app along with its two new streaming services to third-party platforms. The move is a departure for Apple as the company normally keeps its software and apps limited to its own hardware.
Roku’s CEO, Anthony Wood, said in an interview that Apple’s current customer base of iPhone, iPad, and Mac owners may help kick off interest in the new Apple TV+ streaming service, but that the majority viewers are using streaming services directly from their smart TV.
“Obviously, they’re counting on jump-starting [the streaming service] with all of their iPhone and iPad and Mac customers,” Wood said on CNBC’s Squawk Alley. “But actually, smart TVs are the way that most streaming services, long-form streaming services are viewed by customers. That’s where they spend most of their hours. And so for any kind of service like that to be successful you want to be on the leading streaming TV platforms.”
Earlier this year, Apple announced that its TV app and features like HomeKit would be arriving on smart TVs from Samsung, LG, and Vizio. Yesterday at its Services event, Apple detailed that its new TV app and new streaming services will also be arriving on Roku and Amazon’s Fire TV.
While the move could hurt Apple TV sales, the bigger picture is that it opens Apple’s new Services to a much larger audience. As noted by CNBC, Roku commanded 37% of the streaming hardware market as of last year.
Not only does Roku offer its 4K streaming player at $40 (four times less than Apple) it has also partnered with TV manufacturers that are building the Roku platform directly in. Highly rated 4K smart TVs with Roku baked in go from $280 (just $100 more than the base Apple TV 4K).
Just like Roku, Amazon also sells its affordable Fire TV 4K player for $50 and has partnered with TV manufactures to offer 4K Fire TV edition sets in the $300-$400 range.
What do you think? Are you happy to see Apple opening up the TV app to other platforms? Share your thoughts in the comments below!