Rik's Ramblings

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

What is Roku's Business Model?

Sadly I unplugged my Roku today.  It's a shame, I was really happy with it when I first got the thing.  This was about two years ago, and the Roku allowed me to watch Netflix Streaming (and some podcasts) directly on the TV without the use of a computer.

However, in the last two years (a) Netflix Streaming has become evil, (b) Mediafly have shutdown, (c) most new TV and DVD players have built-in app stores, and (d) every Android tablet now has a HDMI output.  So I was in my IT closet over the new year break.  I needed to free-up a plug socket to connect the PC to the receiver (via HDMI).  We wanted to get a live feed of London and New York new year celebrations.  Anyway, as I say, I needed to free-up a socket ... so I unplugged the Roku.  Today I removed the PC from the media IT closet ... looked at the poor neglected Roku ... held it's power brick in my hand ... then tossed them both.

Sorry Roku, but you just haven't moved with the times.  Is there something you're doing that I don't understand?  I don't see why anyone uses you anymore!  I can only imagine it's a strange selection of old people and poor casual gamers who still have a roku.  Last time I looked in your channel store christian radio stations out numbered reall content 3 to 1.

I actually interviewed at Roku over a year ago and told them they needed YouTube and DLNA support.  Needless to say, I didn't get the job. Apparently what I know about the fields of multimedia and software didn't match what they're looking for.  Maybe they heard I don't believe in god and didn't want to upset their demographic.

Hence, I posed the question, "what's your business model?". I have to presume that they prefer supporting christian broadcast over YouTube as they can make money from each niche religion (via their channel store), whereas supporting YouTube and DLNA doesn't really give them any chance to make money.  After all, once I had youtube, I wouldn't go back to their channel store.

I could go on!  Say, Skype, or gHangout support!?  Even aged christians would benefit from video chat with their friends and preachers.


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