During an interview on CNBC’s Squawk Alley, the CEO of Roku, Anthony Wood, talked for the first time about Apple’s upcoming streaming service, called TV+, as well as the addition of the Apple TV app to the Roku platform. Wood said Apple expects existing customers who use the iPhone, iPad, and other Apple devices to be early subscribers and help jumpstart the TV+ service.
While certainly some users will subscribe to the service, that might not be enough to make Apple TV+ a success, which leads back to the Apple TV app being made available on third-party devices, such as Roku and Amazon Fire TV and various smart TVs. Woods pointed out that smart TVs are the way most customers watch content: "That’s where they spend most of their hours".
He added, "And so for any kind of service like that to be successful, you want to be on the leading streaming TV platforms". That certainly helps to explain why Apple is just now beginning to adopt a more cooperative approach. For the most part, Apple’s general approach has always been that, if you want to use its services, you need to use its hardware. But that's changing.
With the announcement of Apple TV+, the company announced the Apple TV app will be made available on Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices as well as smart TVs from LG, Sony, Samsung, and Vizio. For Apple, this is a risk worth taking. Losing whatever profits it was getting from its own hardware, like Apple TV, is more than worth the potential revenue from its streaming service.
However, there’s no guarantee that its streaming service will be a hit. That said, Roku accounts for 37 per cent of streaming hardware, so Apple obviously knows that expanding beyond its own Apple TV hardware is one of the many ways to ensure it succeeds.