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Roku Plans to Take Back Your Smart Home

Don’t touch that dial!  Roku is looking to integrate more services into its platform.

Don’t touch that dial! Roku is looking to integrate more services into its platform.
Photo: Alex Cranz / Gizmodo

Roku is not exactly a little known brand, but when it comes to market share and platform dominance, it’s still a David between Goliath like Amazon and Google. However, the streaming company has made some strategic moves lately which indicate it is try a more meaningful game for the space in your home-outside the living room, where it is already established in many televisions.

Roku has been trying to lay the groundwork for a new smart home platform for a few years now with many acquisitions and partners, but those moves it seemed to have brought no major induction – at least not yet. And now a welcoming new job listings and a new hire has revived Roku’s idea of ​​venturing out of home entertainment. It is not clear exactly how Roku thinks about switching from TV on smart home more widely, but evidence suggests that there are great things in the works that come together Existing Roku line of TV, set-top boxes, and bottom speakers.

Protect reported this week in many job listings that support the idea of ​​a Roku brand smart home effort. The company’s latest addition is advertisingirector of product mengagement, Damir Skripic, who is an Amazon veteran, TP-Link’s Kasa smart unit, and Netgear’s security arm, Arlo. Before Skripic came to Roku, the job list for the role mention responsibilities would include “Proper[ing] the strategy and execution of the products and features that connect Roku with the domestic ecosystems most deeply. ”The list also told potential candidates that one of their primary duties would be to develop the“ product strategy technology for the home ”and the“ product roadmap ”Given Skripic’s resume, it’s safe to say that“ the things that connect ”are at his helm.

Roku is also looking for one senior business development manager to help foster partnerships with smart home hardware manufacturers. The role will be to “work closely with product, engineering, legal, marketing and finance teams to guide the objectives of Roku’s business.” Those business goals probably have something to do with Roku looking to solidify (and grow) its own 38% market share of the United States for its streaming and TV sticks.

But Roku works well precisely because it’s already proven that their streaming TV devices are good. He doesn’t even have a track in the smart home. With assets big brands like Google and Amazon that dominate the smart home and and support a new standard called Matter to unite them all, Roku needs fast movement to have any visibility.

It’s more plausible that Roku is strategizing around transforming its existing line of devices into connected devices – similar to what Apple did with the Apple TV, which acts as a hub for HomeKit-compatible devices. It’s a more affordable way to get consumers on board, and will help Roku better maintain its location. The more devices you have at home, the more profits you make. Last year, Roku he made more money from advertising and other service charges compared to its device activity.

In a recent one iinvestor creference call, Roku Chief Financial Officer Steve Louden made a particularly timely statement on “dynamics” in an ecosystem, pointing to the consolidation of services as a way to improve “position” and “strength”. Louden spoke of consolidating streaming services for consumers, but the growth of the company’s “relevance in the ecosystem” could lead to making its devices more capable.

In any ecosystem, you have to understand the dynamics between the partners, right? We are a kind of partners and competitors for different players in the industry. Of course, yes, consolidation, the reason why people consolidate in every industry is because they seek to improve their position and weight when they talk to other actors. But for us, I mean, the best we can do and what we’ve been very successful at is growing our share and our relevance in the ecosystem, right?

On the surface, last month there was a rift between Roku and Google over the air license renewal for YouTube TV it looked like pure Silicon Valley theater. But with this new context, it is could be interpreted instead as public Rokumaking ly itself known as one of the last remaining independent platforms.

Imagine the advantage that existing Roku set-top boxes could provide by integrating some of the features that keep people like me glued to Google, such as the ability to drive in security camera footage and voice commands to transform into streaming services. If Roku’s ultimate goal is to provide as much value as possible using it its existing platform, expansion in the the smart home is absolutely the way to go.

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