Roku CEO explains why Apple TV+ needs Roku support


Roku isn't worried about Apple TV+
Photo: Roku

Roku CEO Anthony Wood says Apple’s new Apple TV+ streaming platform is going to be great for his company despite some analysts claiming it could hurt Roku over the long term.

Wood made an appearance on CNBC today talking about the benefits of Apple finally embracing third-party streaming boxes like Roku and Amazon’s FireTV. Even though Apple has hundreds of millions of active iPhones and iPads to push its Apple TV+ service, the way Wood sees it, Apple TV+ needs Roku to be successful.

“For any kind of service like that to be successful, you want to be on the leading streaming TV platforms and Roku is the leading streaming TV platform,” Wood told CNBC. “We’re the leading distributor of streaming content in the U.S.”

Roku + Apple TV+

Apple TV and Roku have been viewed as competitors for years. When it comes to market share though, Roku has dominated Apple TV for years with its cheaper streaming boxes and integration into smart TVs. Apple is partnering with the world’s top TV-makers to add AirPlay 2 support to their smart TVs.

With so much being spent on original content now, Wood says we’re in Golden Age of TV. More content is great for Roku because it makes money off hardware and gets a cut of subscriptions purchased to other streaming services through its platform. Over one in four smart TVs sold last year run Roku OS, so Apple would be silly not to try and get eyeballs through that platform.

“All these new services coming to streaming are excellent and our business model is to monetize services… so it’s good for us from an economic point of view because the more services people can buy on our platform, the more money we can make,” Wood said. “I’m not sure what the negatives are for a company like Roku.”

Details on AppleTV+ are still pretty light. Apple hasn’t said how much it will cost per month or how many shows will be available at launch. We also didn’t get a lot of details on the shows that were teased. Apple posted a sizzle reel on YouTube but we’ll have to wait until the fall to see how good the content really is.