The folks at Roku are in total bragging mode this week and for good reason. It’s been almost five years since the first Roku went on sale and the little streaming box is doing really well. Who would have thought back then that this little company would one day challenge Apple for market supremacy in its segment with more than five million units sold in the United States?
Roku is so excited about its march toward imperial domination, it released a cute little graphic with some tidbits about customer use. Apparently, Lexington, Kentucky is the most popular market for Roku’s products – whodathunkit? Think that’s something? Dig this: Someone with a ton of time on their hands managed to continuous stream Netflix video for every single second of an entire week – that’s 10,080 minutes in seven days. All told, Netflix has delivered 8 billion music and video streams in the last five years. No wonder big network television has been acting nervous lately.
The other big news coming from Roku this week is that it now offers streaming TV content from Time Warner Cable (TWC) through it’s devices for those with a TWC subscription. The deal adds the Food Network, Animal Planet, HGTV, Bravo, and almost 300 other networks to the mix, which already includes HBO GO.
At this point, there are few reasons not to get a Roku box in your home, especially for those looking to lower their monthly bills by cutting the cord. If Aereo survives the last legal hurdle in its path, the future will look pretty bright for consumers who stream have the added freedom to save over-the-air broadcasts in the cloud; this crazy thing called freedom of choice might win out in the end.
Roku has clearly established itself as the front runner leaving rivals such as Boxee scrambling to reinvent itself before the consumer throws in the towel and moves on. In the same vein, it means that Panasonic, which just introduced its first media steaming boxes this week, have an obstacle as high as Mt. Fuji to climb at this point in the game.