nScreenMedia OTT multiscreen media analysis

CandW discuss Roku IPO, free Netflix with T-Mobile, and more

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Roku’s IPO paperwork revealed much about its business, including where its future lies. Mobile operators continue to use TV content as a differentiator. Newsy and ZoneTV are headed to pay TV. Which one will be successful in the linear world?

Chapter 1: Roku’s IPO and business (1:10)

Roku filed its IPO paperwork, and this revealed a lot about the company’s business. 59% of revenue comes from box sales and 41% from the company’s “platform businesses.” These include ad sales, software, and hardware licensing. The platform business revenue is growing much faster than the streaming media player business and is a lot more profitable.

Chapter 2: The Roku Channel (5:00)

Roku also launched an ad-supported video channel on its platform. Will thinks this is a good move, allowing the company to monetize better the 15 million active Roku users. I, on the other hand, am not so sure. Many content partners view Roku as the only independent streaming media player vendor. All the others have competing services. The Roku Channel erodes that advantage and may have some content wondering just how independent Roku is.

Chapter 3: T-Mobile and Netflix (10:30)

T-Mobile announced that new subscribers to unlimited mobile service would get a subscription to Netflix for free. The bundle is another example of mobile operators using premium content to help differentiate their mobile service.

Chapter 4: Hulu and Spotify go to school (14:30)

Hulu launched a new bundle this week targeting college students. The $5-a-month bundle includes Hulu’s on-demand service with light ad load and Spotify. The company says it plans to make the bundle more broadly available at that price point.

Chapter 5: Newsy on pay TV (16:10)

Newsy’s parent Scripps purchased the Retired Living Television and will put Newsy in its place. The move will allow Newsy to reach 40 million pay TV subscriber homes. I thought the deal sounded odd. RLTV targeted the over-50 audience, and older Americans watch twice as much television as millennials. Newsy targets millennials. If RLTV could not be successful with an audience that watches so much television, how will Newsy succeed with an audience that doesn’t watch television much at all?

Chapter 6: ZoneTV on pay TV (19:20)

ZoneTV is also planning to bring web originals to the pay TV audience in linear programmed channels. However, the company is also planning to have the channels adapt to an individual viewers behavior. It is doing this with the aid of Ooyala and Microsoft Cognitive Services.

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