By Dawn C. Chmielewski
11:23 AM CST, January 7, 2013
Roku, the maker of devices for streaming music and video in the home, bolstered its entertainment offerings with the addition of Time Warner Cable, Blockbuster on Demand and Fox Now -- among other services.
The company said it has surpassed 700 channels on the Roku platform with Monday's addition of more television, music and games. Roku announced nine additional video partners, bringing shows from PBS, SyFy and A&E, new audio services, including iHeart Radio and Spotify, and interactive entertainment from Big Fish and others.
“When we launched the first Roku player in 2008, it was the very first device to stream Netflix to the TV and offered just that one channel," said Steve Shannon, Roku's general manager of content and services. "Today, the content universe is vastly different with many content producers and owners embracing delivery over the Internet ... we have the best brands in streaming entertainment.”
The new distribution partnerships, announced before the official start of the giant Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, are a sign of the mainstream nature of entertainment streamed via the Internet into the home. Entertainment companies are eager to reach a generation of consumers who watch video and listen to music via their game consoles and other Web-connected devices.
A projected 66 million U.S. households - or 54% of the total population - will access the Internet via game consoles, Blu-ray players, or connected TVs by 2017, according to a new report from Forrester Research analyst Jitender Miglani.
The Time Warner Cable agreement with Roku will allow its existing subscribers to watch live television via the streaming devices sometime this quarter.
Separately, Roku announced that its streaming technology will be integrated into a new generation of Internet-connected smartTVs, Blu-ray players and other devices from six new partners, Coby Electronics Corp.; Harman Kardon; Hisense Electric Co. Ltd.; TCL Corp.; Voxx Accessories Corp. and Westinghouse Digital.