Advanced Television

Roku’s Wood: ‘All TV to be streamed’

June 16, 2014

By Colin Mann

Roku CEO Anthony Wood has suggested that in the future, all TV is going to be streamed, and shrugged off competition from Apple, Amazon and Google. Wood shared his views on the convergence of Internet video and television in an interview with The Associated Press.

As to where TV is headed, Wood suggested that it was “pretty clear” that all TV is going to be streamed. “It’s either going to be streamed to a smart TV, a gaming console or a streaming player. That’s the way people are going to watch TV. Things like DVD players are going to go away. Cable boxes are obviously going away, too. DVRs are just a stepping stone technology. When everything is on demand, you won’t have to record anything any more so that’s going to disappear,” he predicted.

He admitted to no longer having a DVR in his house. “I got rid of my DVR when it broke. That was probably five years ago. It was a ReplayTV. We watch all our TV on demand anyway,” he added.

In terms of the future impact of cord cutting, Wood said the “coolest” thing about streaming was that it gives customers lots of choices. “If someone just wants to watch movies on Netflix, they have that option now. There has been an explosion in the types of content you can get through streaming. If they want to have the best cable experience ever, including HBO Go and ESPN Watch, then they get cable service, too. Where it will end up? I am not sure,” he admitted.

“I do believe people are watching more TV than ever and they have options. You don’t just have to watch what’s on pay-TV or what’s on your DVR. The majority of our customers do have a pay-TV (cable or satellite) subscription, but a pretty good chunk doesn’t. More than 60 per cent have pay-TV. About 35 percent don’t and they mostly just stream video,” he advised.

As to whether he was worried about the competition from Apple, Amazon and Google, Wood noted that every time one of those companies came out with an announcement, Roku’s sales improved. “Anything that gets people excited about streaming, we’re for. Our sales are growing stronger than ever.”

Reminded that he once predicted the DVR would be dead by 2020, he said that still sounded right. “I don’t think many people will be using DVRs six years from now,” he suggested, saying that rather than making him melancholy – given his pioneering work in the late 1990s, inventing one of the first digital video recorders and starting ReplayTV – it made him excited. “It’s just a much better world when you don’t have to worry about recording shows. DVRs are noisy, and they break, too,” he noted.

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