This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Roku Is Dead, But Apple Didn't Kill It

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Early Monday, TheStreet's Robert Weinstein published an article that's worth your time: Is Roku David or Goliath Against Apple TV, Amazon Web TV?

Weinstein does a nice job illustrating the overpopulated streaming television landscape -- with names such as Apple (AAPL - Get Report) and Google (GOOG) already in and (AMZN) apparently about to enter. He goes on to make an appropriate and very insightful comparison between Roku and Blackberry (BBRY) before pronouncing Roku dead.

As I explained last week in When Will Cable TV Go a la Carte?, the merger between Time Warner Cable (TWC) and Comcast (CMCSA) could put Roku in the grave.

If I'm cable, particularly executives at this forthcoming TWC/CMCSA monster, I realize that my set-top box should become something other than an unwieldy, behind the times annoyance. It should provide real value to cable subscribers. In fact, it should be a streamer that offers everything the other guys offer and more, expressly because, as cable, "we" have relationships for content nobody else has.

Must Read: Oscars Are Fun But Don't Expect Studios' Stocks to Rise

Weinstein didn't explore that angle, but I reckon it's the one to keep an eye on.

Outside of that, the competition from the major players in tech matters, but it doesn't scare me as much. Roku can compete on its own merits, particularly because it has a solid product. I'm streaming Pandora (P) on it right now. I watch hockey, using NHL Game Center, on it most nights.

Remember ... Apple, Google, Amazon -- none of the big players -- they're not out to "crush" Roku. It goes back to the same retort I made when people said these guys, and others like them, would or wanted to crush Pandora.

The big names do not get into these outside spaces to crush the pure players. In fact, having solid pure players around -- like Roku in streaming television and Pandora in streaming radio -- probably helps their cause. The big names get into these outside spaces to service their core business, be it selling hardware at Apple, getting ad clicks at Google, driving e-commerce at Amazon and making great ecosystems greater and stickier at all three.

In any event, as an end game Weinstein and I agree. And you should as well. Roku's finished. And plugging itself into so-called Smart TVs won't save it. If your cable box (or Apple or Google or Amazon) can make your television smart, there's no room for Roku to exist. At least not competitively.

If Roku's smart, it's shopping itself around. At this stage, Amazon would be the most logical buyer. In fact, Amazon could take care of its streaming television and streaming music ambitions by gobbling up Roku and offering Songza by Amazon, something I predicted it might do Monday morning at TheStreet.

--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks. Rocco Pendola is a columnist for TheStreet. Whenever possible, Pendola uses hockey, Springsteen or Southern California references in his work. He lives in Santa Monica.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $94.02 -2.67%
FB $104.07 -5.81%
GOOG $683.57 -3.45%
TSLA $162.60 -7.26%
YHOO $27.97 -4.05%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 16,204.97 -211.61 -1.29%
S&P 500 1,880.05 -35.40 -1.85%
NASDAQ 4,363.1440 -146.4150 -3.25%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs