Multichannel video programming distributors are less threatened by mobile devices that also stream video, like smartphones and tablets, than they are by devices that connect to the television, Roku Vice President of Business Development Scott Rosenberg told a panel audience Tuesday. But, he added, that perception is changing among some cable operators.
"The MVPDs perceive the phone and the tablet as less threatening than on devices that connect to the TV and deliver the same content to the same screen but through a different input," Rosenberg said during a panel at the Streaming Media East show in New York. But providers like DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV) and Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) are beginning to provide more access through devices like Roku's player.
Roku is staying ahead of the streaming device market so far, boasting more than 1,200 TV apps via its player. In Roku-connected households, Rosenberg said, the device accounts for 25 percent of all video viewing.
That jibes with recent research from Parks Associates which found that 64 percent of U.S. households with broadband have at least one consumer electronics device connected to the Internet--either a smart TV, a Blu-ray player, game console, set-top box, digital media receiver or Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) Chromecast. Of those households, 16 percent use a streaming media player like the Roku.
As indicated by the 5 percent of households using Chromecast in that study, Roku has plenty of competition from other streaming device makers. Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) recently launched its Fire TV device. And, as Rosenberg noted, MVPDs are continuing to move into the OTT space, offering competition from another direction.
TiVo added a new dimension to the market recently by adding Netflix to the menus of set-top boxes it provides to several cable operators, including Suddenlink, Atlantic Broadband, Grande Communications and RCN.
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