Roku has a secret weapon most people never consider. It is the reason Roku is so successful, and why Roku gets content first more often than not. That secret weapon is ads. Roku is the leader in ad streaming on a set-top box.
No one sells more pre-roll ads on your TV than Roku does for its set-top box, and in 2014 Roku sold more pre-roll ads for its streaming box than pre-roll ads on video sold on smartphones. Roku says they saw a 236% growth in online video ad sales in 2014 over 2013, and they are continuing to see strong growth in 2015.
Roku is pushing the fact that more people watch video on their TVs through devices like Roku than on phones and tablets. Over 70% of 1844 year olds and even 40% of people 65 or older stream content online making ad streaming a very powerful growing market.
Being the Google of set top box ads gives Roku cash and power in the battle for the living room. Many content owners go to Roku first because of the lucrative ads, which allows Roku to give the content away and still make money, making Roku the top selling set-top box in 2015.
While Amazon and Apple focus on making their money by selling content, Roku is double dipping. They get a cut from selling both content and ads on their Roku. Every time you see an ad or buy an HBO Now subscription on your Roku, they are getting a cut on top of Roku box sales.
This is why Roku is popular with content creators, and why Roku will likely be the device with the most content for years to come.