Academy blog

Roku to the Rescue

Cord-cutting has been a pretty common trend over the last few years. It seems the younger you are, the more likely you are to ditch your cable subscription, or never purchase one outright from the get-go, so called “cord-nevers”. In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission is pondering a plan which would help cord-cutting like never before – freeing consumers from cable companies by “unlocking” cable set-top boxes.

You know the set top box, that unsightly cube which sits on a shelf blinking through all hours of the night. Image a world where you didn’t have to rent from your cable provider but could still watch your favorite shows? If the FCC succeeds in implementing “unlocking” regulations, cable set-top boxes will no longer be a mandatory item included in a pay-TV subscription.

FCC regulators claim the move will open up competition across platforms, through industry groups object. The plan would coerce cable providers to create apps and other platforms by which programming can be streamed. Industry players, with Comcast Corporation (the largest U.S. domestic cable provider) as the most vocal, claim the move is unnecessary because Comcast makes their content available without a set-top box via platforms like Roku and Samsung Smart TVs.

Talk about moving to connected TV services such as these, is great news for streaming services like Roku. As BloombergTech reports, Roku founder and CEO Anthony Wood was quoted as saying, “The day of the traditional big, heavy company-controlled set-top box is over.” As a streaming facilitator, Roku specializes in connecting content to consumer. In it’s own right, Roku has been transforming Connected TV. In September 2016, the company announced the introduction of a lower cost model which brings the span of their portfolio from a $29 to $129 making connected TV an option for all.

Part of cable’s objection to the new regulations, according to Bloomberg, would be the loss of data currently collected by set-top boxes. That could affect how advertisers select slots for ads based on ratings. Fortunately, the analytics capabilities of BI platforms such as YOUBORA are available to track that data. Video is moving online regardless of government action, act now, don’t fall behind.

Just another thing to think about from us here at NPAW.

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Image Courtesy of Shutterstock

James Noeker on October 26th 2016

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