It seems as though Roku owners might not have to explain what that little black box that sits on top of their Blu-ray player is anymore.
Last month, Roku—a company that makes the eponymously named over-the-top (OTT) box that allows users to stream content on their televisions via the Internet—announced that it has sold 10 million devices in the United States.“We are dedicated to bringing consumers the best streaming TV experience and we’re grateful that our fans continue to support and recognize us for making America’s favorite streaming players,” Anthony Wood, the company’s CEO, wrote in a blog post announcing the milestone.
The players were initially designed to allow customers to view streaming Netflix content on their televisions. But now, Roku offers its customers an impressive 1,800 channels—more than 1,000 additional channels than other streaming devices.
According to recent research by NPD, users stream 37 million hours of video off Roku each week. That’s compared to 15 million hours for Apple TV, 12 million hours for Google’s Chromecast and 6 million hours for Amazon Fire TV.
Thanks to the rise of the Internet, we have turned into an on-demand culture where we want content the moment we want it—not a second earlier or later. For example, when we’re engaged in rigorous discussions with our friends and a question pops up that no one is sure how to answer, someone will likely turn to their smartphone, call up the information and settle the dispute.
In a similar vein, we don’t necessarily want to watch content the moment it’s on TV. Your favorite show might air at 8 p.m. on Thursdays, but maybe you prefer to take your significant other out for dinner around that time each week.
Thanks to the rise of OTT content, we’re now able to watch the content we want to watch the moment we want to watch it. Because everyone’s schedules are different—and they even change week to week—it seems as though OTT content is more compatible with our lifestyles and this “service on our terms” mentality. As a result, that 10 million could balloon to 20 million sooner than we suspect.