Tuesday in CE: Roku Vies For 4K Streaming Crown, Microsoft App Ecosystem Falling Apart
It's been a wild ride for 4K. Google, Amazon, Apple and a few other major contenders have come out stressing their plan on 4K HDR content.
And now it's Roku's turn.
Despite a hefty 25% market share, Roku has been sort of an industry darkhorse. It seems that it never gets the spotlight as far as brand recognition or marketing, but continues to grow in popularity among cord-cutters.
Roku has added five new products, starting at $29 up to $99, offering a variety of different benefits with each price jump. Most importantly, the top tier $99 Roku Ultra has 4K, 60 FPS, Voice Control, and HDR10 capabilities, and comes in $80 cheaper than Apple TV.
It's a play that makes the 15-year-old company feel really dominate. Roku just began trading public stock last week and relies heavily on the content creation of HBO and Netflix over their own (nonexistent) original content.
The lineup of new devices, with a brand new Roku OS 8 update, makes Roku the pound-for-pound threat to be the new king of 4K streaming devices.
One More Nail in the Coffin as Microsoft Groove Falls to Spotify
In reality, it shouldn't be this hard for Microsoft to create a working ecosystem of products. Growing up at the same time as Apple, Microsoft has had every opportunity to build the same framework as the main competitor. Instead, consumers have faced an onslaught of forgotten, mistreated, and otherwise underwhelming products.
Instead, consumers have faced an onslaught of forgotten, mistreated, and otherwise underwhelming products. Next up to bat is Microsoft Groove, a music store that came integrated into Microsoft products for the last 16-months. Spotify is grabbing all existing customers, as Xbox users will lose the service by the start of 2018.
"With the continued advancement of music streaming today, all the world's music has become easily accessible across a variety of devices, unlocking new ways to discover and experience music," said Jerry Johnson, general manager of Microsoft Groove. "As we continue to listen to what our customers want in their music experience we know that access to the best streaming service, the largest catalog of music, and a variety of subscriptions is top of the list."
"Which is why we're excited to announce that we're expanding our partnership with Spotify to bring the world's largest music streaming service to our Groove Music Pass customers," he added. "Beginning this week*, Groove Music Pass customers can easily move all their curated playlists and collections directly into Spotify. Plus, you may be eligible for a 60-day free trial of Spotify Premium."
The bottom line is the competition is entirely too fierce. Spotify has 140 million active users in 60 countries. Groove has seen a fraction of that, not including the anemic pro subscriptions, ahead of a refreshed Xbox cycle nonetheless. It also could be foreshadowing of what will happen to Windows Phones and their Movie&TV platform.