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Roku Seeks to Up 'TV Everywhere' Consumer Adoption

13 May, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Roku is looking to increase the number of pay-TV subscribers eyeing on-demand viewing (aka TV Everywhere) of TV shows and movies through its streaming video devices.

Speaking May 13 on “The Business of TV as an App” panel at Streaming Media East 2014 in New York, Scott Rosenberg, VP of business development, content and services with Roku, said pay-TV operators’ ability to lure and retain subscribers hinges on seamlessly directing viewers to their favorite on-demand programming.

"We're no longer a little company where we can treat all our viewers the same," Rosenberg said.

With more than 1,200 third-party embedded apps (including 204 targeting movies and TV shows), Rosenberg said Roku set-top boxes and sticks are uniquely positioned to link authenticated subscribers via the Internet to their favorite recent episodic programming and special events.

Roku, which has apps from ESPN, HBO and Disney, was the first to offer streaming access for Showtime programming to authenticated viewers. It also offers channels enabling users to rent and/or buy movies via Amazon Instant Video, Blockbuster Online, Vudu.com, Redbox Instant, Target Ticket, Flixster.com, and M-Go, among others.

In 2014, Roku will up focus on helping third parties offer targeted ads via myriad content channels. Rosenberg said Roku is adding 90 content channels monthly. The executive said Roku’s renewed strategy is to better connect pay-TV subscribers with programming through analysis of viewing habits and patterns.

"We need to ask who is the History Channel audience, who is the WWE audience, and how can we speak to them?” Rosenberg told the panel. "Thankfully, as an IP-based set-top box, we've got more tools than a cable company might have to reach those different audiences."

With more than 8 million devices sold since launching a branded Netflix streaming device in 2008, Roku today accounts for 25% of all online video viewing in homes that have one of the devices, according to Rosenberg. He said the average Roku set-top box user streams 14 hours of video content a week.

“TV Everywhere is definitely a very vibrant category for us,” Rosenberg told Beet.tv.

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