Breaking News: Roku Preparing To Go Public

roku3_slide_with-headphones-100027541-largeAccording to Bloomberg report, Roku is preparing to go public later this year.   Bloomberg reporter says that a decision to move ahead hasn’t been made, and the Saratoga, California-based company hasn’t selected a lead banker, according to one of their sources who requested anonymity because the discussions are private.

The Roku player leverages video from Netflix and Amazon for Internet TV (aka cord cutters).    According to researchers Roku has the lead over Apple TV as a percentage of households who stream media from the Internet.  Additionally, Roku licenses its technology to other manufacturers.

Roku has raised a total of $127 million in funding from investors.  Investors include News Corp., Menlo Ventures, Globespan Capital Partners, Netflix and others.

Roku has been seeing lots of competition from Goolge Chromecast and Apple TV and a move to go public could increase their source of capital.   Here is a comparision of the three big players:

Chromecast

Apple TV

Roku 3

Design

flash drive-like design, black in color

black square device with rounded corners

black square device with rounded corners and a power button

Physical remote

None, uses devices to control it

Yes, plus iOS or OS X device can be used to control it

Yes, also doubles as a motion control game controller and also has a headphone jack

Supported apps/Channels

Netflix and YouTube, Pandora and other apps coming soon

Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO GO, Watch ESPN, MLB.tv, NBA, NHL, WSJ Live, Sky News, YouTube Vimeo, flickr, Qello, crunchyroll

Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, Pandora, HBO Go, MLB.tv premium, Disney, vudu, Crackle, PBS, PBS Kids, NBA Game TIme, popcornflix, Blockbuster on demand, FLixster, Smithsonian channel, Viewster, Syfy, EPIX, crunchyroll, Midnight Pulp, Big Star, Gravitas Movies, BYUtv, Drive-In CLassics, CJC, TV Guide, FrightPIX, The Man Channel, SnagFilms, Cryptic Television, Cowboy Classics, and a lot more

Playback

1080p HD

1080p HD

720p HD

1080p HD

Dual-screen

Yes

Yes

No

Mirroring

No

Yes

No

Streaming

Cloud, Internet

device-to-device, cloud, Internet

Internet

Platform support/requirements

Android 2.3+ smartphones and tablets; iOS 6.0+ iPhones, iPads, and iPods; Chrome for Mac® and Chrome for Windows®; and Chromebook Pixel.

iOS, OS X, iTunes Store account for buying/renting movies and for Home Sharing

HDTV

WiFi

WiFi b/g/n compatible

Wi-Fi (802.11a, b, g, or n) wireless network (wireless video streaming requires 802.11a, g, or n) or 10/100BASE-T Ethernet network

Built-in wireless (Wi-Fi b/g/n compatible)

Price

$35 bundled with bundled with three free months Fullof Netflix

$99

$99.99

 

Can Roku Win?

Based on the specifications above, Roku  has the edge when we’re purely talking about content – with over a hundred channels available it leaves Apple and Google for dust.  Apple isn’t too shabby with 14 content partners signed up, but with only Netflix and YouTube it’s clear that the Chromecast is very far behind and a has a lot of catching up to do.

Roku has an opportunity to position itself as a pure play Internet TV company to piggy back the run that Netflix is on.   Last year, Roku unveiled its latest streaming box, the Roku 3, and although similar to its predecessors, it packed some significant internal upgrades. Roku has always valued function over form, and their latest device shows that there’s been no departure in that mentality.

SiliconANGLE contributing editor John Casaretto recently described it as one stop search functionality. Detailing how it works, he said, “It can take searches, and search all the different services, and all the different channels that are on it. It orders the search by services that you subscribe to, and those that you don’t. It can order it by price, and it even has a tag that says if the movie you’re looking for is HD or not.”

 

 

About John Furrier

Founder and CEO of SiliconAngle.com.