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Roku Is So Finished It Needs Apple, Google or Amazon to Buy It

Stocks in this article: AAPL AMZN GOOG

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I have a Roku streaming player. And I absolutely love it.

However, I'm pretty certain that after (AMZN) delivers my Fire TV the Roku 3 I have in my living room will join the older model Roku that collects dust in my bedroom.


Based on what I have seen and read so far in reviews, Fire TV will be just as good as if not better than both Roku and Apple (AAPL) TV. So, on the basis of features, utility and performance there's a good chance Amazon wins outright or simply matches what's already out there.

But let's just say Amazon Fire TV isn't better, but only just as good as Roku. In this scenario, Amazon's magnetism puts it out in front. It goes back to the trajectory of thought I started to reel Thursday: Amazon, not Apple, best executes the halo effect in 2014.

I'm an Amazon Prime member. I receive, at minimum, a box a week from Amazon's top of mind in my life. I have a favorable impression of Amazon because the company makes my life better. I'm compelled to try new products and services Amazon introduces. Much like an iPhone purchase leads to a Macbook purchase, being a Prime member (or participating in anything else the Amazon ecosystem offers) extends to dabbling in other Amazon areas.

Companies such as Amazon and Apple have developed strong bonds with consumers. These are the types of connections small, pure-play companies such as Roku have more difficulty creating. There's no loyalty in the relationship. And why should there be?

What Roku needs and should absolutely ask for is a mercy killing.

If I'm at Roku I'm on the phone with Apple, Amazon, Google (GOOG) and let's not forget about Microsoft (MSFT). And I'm begging for a buyout.

Any of the above could make the acquisition to secure Roku's user base and technology and take a couple more steps forward with respect to a presence in your living room.

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

Rocco Pendola is a full-time columnist for TheStreet. He lives in Santa Monica. Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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