Roku/The Gift Every Content Producer Should Give Their Mom

14Dec09

After hearing more about the Roku channel program at my recent Smarter TV event, I just had to check it out, so they sent me a demo and I have since fallen in love with it.  Out of the box it was a delight – I put the batteries in the remote, plugged in the cables, AC adapter and ethernet (it also has wifi), found the onscreen instructions on Video 2, typed in codes at netflix.com/activate, pandora.com/roku, and that’s it – within minutes, for free, I was watching Leo Laporte and Kevin Rose. Simply put, the Roku channel program enables indie content producers to extend their reach into the living room, and although Roku does not offer a payments platform/apps store like Boxee will have mid-2010, Roku does allow content producers to monetize via subscription, PPV and ads outside the box.  The pre-rolls for TWiT play beautifully. Content producers, take note – the field for quality content is wide open. Blip.tv has a couple of shows up like All’s Faire, Digits, and Meet the Mayfarers but whole genres are still empty, and even the very popular Beet.tv is not yet streaming through Blip’s news.  There is a great potential for content producers to build audience and for audiences to discover fresh content. Star-studded sponsored sitcoms like EasyToAssemble and talking heads networks like FORA.tv would do well on Roku. Aside from the Channel Store, Roku is a cheap way to view Netflix Instant Watch, starting at just $79, the next step up is $249+ for TiVo, $199++ + $50/year for Xbox, $299 for PS3, and more for Yahoo! Connected TV. Even D-Link is not predicting a sub $100 price for it’s Boxee box.  And Netflix itself is a deal at only $8.99/month for unlimited streaming on six devices plus one-DVD-at-time.  Similar to its competition but with free access, Roku also offers Amazon VOD, Pandora, Flickr, and Facebook Photos. If you’re a content producer looking for a great gift for mom this holiday season, get your content up* on Roku and send her a box!

*SDK to be published later this week.  Right now interested content owners can contact partners@roku.com.

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