Anthony Wood: Roku will shut down Android ‘Phone OS’ internationally with ‘purpose-built’ streaming software

Investors have become very skeptical over the past 20 months that Roku can maintain its domestic TVOS market dominance over Amazon and Google, let alone establish the same overseas living room gateway OS hegemony it currently enjoys in North America.

However, since Roku’s stock has plummeted on the Nasdaq, Roku CEO Anthony Wood is sticking to the same script, describing his company’s core product as the only TV operating system software built truly “for purpose” for streaming TV, and insists it will be widely used. open regions like Europe as well as America.

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In an interview with equity analyst Ben Swinburne at the Morgan Stanley Technology and Media Conference on Monday, Wood insisted that “the same model that works for us in the US works for us internationally” and that Roku is “making good progress” internationally. . markets.

The Roku TVOS, Wood said, is now used in nearly 50% of U.S. broadband homes, with Amazon Fire TV and Google TV/Android TV used in only a “single-digit” percentage of the market.

“Both companies are growing their market share, but they’re still tiny,” noted Wood. “The biggest opportunity for us to continue growing is the participation of LG, Samsung and Vizio. These are the TV companies that are left outside of Roku in terms of tangible market share.”

Wood said he doesn’t think the “TV companies” have the resources and will to “recover the cost” of building a global gateway operating system and advertising business.

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Outside of the US, Wood continued to promote the strides Roku has made in Canada and Mexico. In these regions, Roku has moved past the point of merely working to build a viable base of active users. It has imported ad sales juggernaut Roku Channel into these countries and is now staffing its local ad sales teams to begin the all-important task of monetization.

For Roku, the narrative challenge is convincing investors that it can do the same in regions like Europe, a wide-open market for gateway operating systems, though Roku has made little headway in infiltrating those regions to date. The vast majority of Roku’s 70 million active users remain in North America.

The challenge intensified: Google is ahead with Android TV and its offshoot Google TV in Europe and other markets.

Wood acknowledged that “Google is more widely used around the world,” but that’s only because “Android is a global phone operating system.”

Additionally, he noted that Android TV actually preceded Roku into the US smart TV market before Roku surpassed it.

“When Roku enters a market, we quickly start gaining market share and we start taking market share in that country. We see this dynamic playing out in all markets we have entered,” added Wood.