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Apple TV Predictions Made Easy (Thanks to Roku)

Rumor has it that the VEVO music video service is coming to Apple TV. Well, as its own channel I mean, since it’s always been possible to AirPlay the VEVO iOS app.

So that’s great to add value to the box by adding new channels. But it’s also old hat because, well, we’ve had VEVO on the Roku for as long as I’ve had one.

And Apple TV getting stuff long after Roku is not a new thing. Back in June, we got HBO Go and Crunchyroll, which had already been on Roku for some time.

If there isn’t a sign at the Roku offices saying “Cupertino, start your copiers”, there should be.

Anyways, let’s make a sport of this. Let’s list some of the most popular and interesting Roku channels, and then revisit this blog entry over the next few months and years to check off when Apple TV gets them.

Note that all of these (except Spotify) are from Roku’s most watched page, and that’s not necessarily a perfect way to find strategically-important channels. Crackle is a mass-audience product with broad-appeal content (Hollywood movies and TV shows), but I rarely hear anyone mention it. OTOH, the apps for niche programming like the various sports leagues are critically important to fans of those niches. It’s a safe bet that more anime fans watched Madoka Magica on Crunchyroll than Crackle (it’s on both). It might be that SEC Digital Network or Angry Birds Toons would be more valuable to Apple TV owners than a seemingly mainstream play like Warner Archive Instant. Heck, since DirecTV won’t add Pac-12 Network so I can get all my Stanford sports here in Grand Rapids, I’d be very happy to pay for it as a Roku channel (in fact, the Pac-12 should stop bitching about DirecTV and offer this).

Of course, that’s the difference – on Roku, the viewers decide which channels matter. On Apple TV, Cupertino is the gatekeeper… perhaps with an eye on Roku for what to add next.

Comments (7)

  1. Also, no I’m not getting a cut from Roku. Their affiliate program looks like a pain in the butt to set up, and I doubt very much money goes through their website anyways – people can easily buy Roku hardware at retail, and subscription money goes through the outside services (the Netflixes and Hulus and what have you) and not through roku.com.

  2. And on the other hand, what’s on Apple TV that’s not available for Roku? I’d argue that YouTube is the most significant, and with Google’s battle to block a proper app for Windows Phone 8, it’s a safe bet they won’t develop their own Roku app. WatchESPN is a nice exclusive for Apple TV too, but only works if you have a cable/internet provider that’s paying ESPN for the privilege.

  3. ajones78

    The Disney app on Roku is different from the Disney app on Apple. Roku just has clips and previews and does not actually allow you to watch and Disney channel shows. I have both Roku and Apple TV. The Disney app on Apple TV has tons of full-length on-demand content and allows you to watch Disney Channel LIVE. I originally got Roku in order to watch HBOGO in my bedroom without having to pay extra. I chose Roku specifically because it cost less only to find out my provider doesn’t sync up with Roku for HBO, but it does with Apple. So I got Apple TV for myself and put Roku in my son’s room for Netflix and Hulu. Although, I really should have just returned it.

  4. ajones78: good point that the Disney channel on Roku is different from the many Apple TV Disney channels. Actually, this is another point on which I prefer Roku, since its channel has a wide selection of stuff about the theme parks, the history of the company and its various films and TV shows, etc. The Apple TV version, with a live feed of Disney Channel and Disney XD and popular shows on demand, is more a direct replacement for the cable/satellite channel. Maybe it’s a question of what you’re looking for: another instance of the cable channels, or more of an internet TV experience.

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