Streaming Wars Roku and Amazon

A New Front Emerges In The Streaming Wars

Big News: Both Peacock and HBO Max launched without apps on Roku or Amazon Fire TV.

Why this matters: Roku and Amazon each have 35M+ users in the U.S. and would impact subscriber growth for any service missing from either platform.

Quote from Anthony Wood – CEO @ Roku:
“We’re an essential partner for any streaming service trying to build an audience in the United States.” 

CTV/OTT users by platform in the U.S., according to eMarketer:
Smart TV – 57M
Roku – 47M
Amazon Fire TV – 35M
Game Console – 34M
Google Chromecast – 16M
Blue-Ray Player – 13M
Apple TV – 12M

Share of CTV viewing time in 2020-Q1 according to Hedgeye:
1) Roku – 44%
2) Fire TV – 19%
3) XBOX – 10%
4) Apple TV – 8%
5) Other – 7%
6) Chromecast – 6%
7) Playstation – 5%
8) Samsung – 1%

Big question #1: What is this dispute all about?

Quick answer: Money.  This is no different than past carriage disputes between a TV network and a pay-TV provider.

What Roku wants:
1) 30% 
of subscription revenue
2) 30% of ad inventory
3) Content for Roku Channel (ad-supported streaming) from WarnerMedia and/or NBCUniversal (see Disney+ deal)

What Amazon wants:
1) 15-45% 
of subscription revenue
2) Content for IMDB (ad-supported streaming) from WarnerMedia and/or NBCUniversal

Big question #2: Will this cause customer confusion?

Quick answer: Yes.

Example #1: Edmund Lee from the New York Times breaks down how a current HBO subscriber would access HBO Max.

Example #2: EMC Capital maps out which platforms each streaming service is available on.

More #1: The War for Your Living Room: Here Comes Google, Watch Out Roku, Amazon and Apple

More #2: Shut out of Fire TV and Roku, Peacock is the latest example of the arrival power moves to streaming


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