TV Ecosystem Cleaning Up Its Act? Less Equipment, Trimming Down To Most-Watched Networks, Streamers

We are again struck by new research and the revelation that we have too much extraneous TV home equipment, which seems to track with another trend: too many streaming platforms -- and for that matter, too much TV entertainment stuff overall.

This might be something of a flashback for many.

Typical traditional pay TV packages -- cable, satellite, and telco -- can have 200 to 300 networks. That still has consumers complaining: “I watch only ten networks, tops. Why do I need the other 290?” For them there is an overall situation of TV home entertainment bloat

Separate set-top streaming boxes -- Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, TiVo or whatever -- just add to that glut in terms of home-entertainment devices.

One trend could help to resolve this situation.

Samsung looks to be the first to embed a cloud gaming app into its smart TVs in 27 countries starting June 30. Microsoft has already said it has been working with smart TV manufacturers to integrate gaming technology directly into their sets.



Of course, Roku has a totally different future. For one thing, the company's CEO Anthony Wood said smart TV makers like Samsung would soon give up their respective operating systems for Roku and Amazon Fire TV.

Now add some current research from GroupM, which finds that 10% of all connected TV (CTV) advertising gets delivered to TV sets that are in the off-position, and that a major part of this comes from non-"native" smart TV apps -- that is, platforms not embedded directly on a smart TV operating system.

Research says 17% of all CTV commercials are run while the TV set is off are coming from non-native apps, with virtually nothing from the native stuff. So would that be an issue for the likes of Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast and all the rest? Perhaps.

In particular, Roku would seem to have the most to lose, with Amazon, Apple, and Google having more broader, diversified businesses -- somewhat less.

Roku's future depends on CTV advertising through its OneView demand-side platform -- and less from sales of its set-top boxes or platform/software deals with TV set manufacturers.

Reflect on the issues of the need of some 300 TV networks in a typical cable TV package versus today's modern digital world. How does this compare to the 30,446 streaming apps available on Roku?

That answer is that we are only consuming what we want -- either paying a monthly fee or getting those individual apps free. Roku benefits from advertising though actual inventory it sells or ad-share revenue arrangements with publishers.

But overall, doesn't all this still seem like overkill? For some.

For others it remains a lure: FOMO (fear of missing out). Your inefficient TV system might be my TV amusement park of rides I will never get enough of.

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