Roku CEO Anthony Wood will be one of four keynote speakers at IFA 2019, Europe's biggest tech show, next month. Is Roku planning an expansion in Europe?
Roku in Europe?
Roku is currently the leading TV platform in the US. It also has a presence in Latin America and a limited presence in France and the UK. In all other European countries, Roku is absent.
Is that about to change? IFA, which is Europe's biggest tech show with close to 250,000 visitors, has announced Roku CEO Anthony Wood as one of four keynote speakers. Why would the Roku CEO give a keynote in Berlin, Germany? There is a hint in the announcement.
- "Streaming pioneer Roku to take the stage in Berlin [...] The company is the leading streaming platform in the United States and international growth is focus for Roku" IFA said in its announcement.
We can only speculate but we think it is unlikely that the Roku CEO will be giving a keynote speech at Europe's largest trade show simply to brag about its leading position in the US where Roku is selling media boxes and licensing its OS to makers of Smart TVs such as TCL.
- "We believe that all TV will be streamed, and that the industry will consolidate around a select number of TV operating systems, similar to what happened in the PC and smartphone markets. Nearly all TV manufacturers will license a TV operating system, like ours," said Anthony Wood, Roku CEO, when he was announced as an IFA keynote speaker.
Also read: Roku passes 30 million active accounts
Could Roku convince TV makers in Europe to embrace its platform? Its strongest partner is arguably TCL who, for now, appears to remain committed to Google's Android TV platform in Europe. Then there is Samsung's Tizen, LG's webOS, Panasonic's MyHomeScreen (nee Firefox), and of course Android in Sony and Philips TVs. Apple also has a strong presence through its tvOS-powered Apple TV box and Amazon is rolling out FireTV, albeit rather slowly.
But we are getting ahead of ourselves here. FlatpanelsHD will be in Berlin to cover the news from Europe's biggest tech show. IFA 2019 starts on September 6.
- Source: IFA