Why Roku's Popularity May Be Slipping

Why Roku's Popularity May Be Slipping

Once Top Ranked Media Streamer Loses Some Appeal

Every beginning has an ending and like everything in life, all good things eventually come to an end. 

Roku the darling of the media streaming community appears to be losing some of it's appeal. It hurts to write about this. Because like so many of you, we still really love our Roku media streamers.

We have to face facts, Roku is not quite as popular as it was several years ago. There was a time when Roku media streamers dominated All Top 3 best selling media streamer spots on Amazon. 

Looking at their ranking now, Roku media streamers have slipped considerably from their one time high. Current Amazon Top Ten Media Streamer List  (Updated Hourly).

Why Roku's Star is Falling

Roku Channels Overload - There still is no other media streamer that comes anywhere close to the high volume of Roku channels available. At last count they have over 2,000.

So why is this a bad thing? Because many Roku channels are just plain garbage. I know that sounds harsh, but sadly this is a complaint that is mentioned quite often.

Roku in it's quest to become number one which they did quite successfully for a while, should have implemented more quality control standards for their public channels. 

Think about it this way, if you had to sift through a gallon bucket of sand, to find a few gold nuggets many would have no problem doing this at all. 

Now place a couple nuggets in a large dump truck full of sand. How many people would give up and not even bother looking anymore? 

We have helped Roku owners from shoveling through a mountain of sand, by providing our own list of the Top 70 Best Roku Channels

All the worthless channels on cable did nothing to keep customers from cutting cable. A high number of sub-standard Roku channels will do nothing to keep customers from seeking other better media streaming alternatives.

Increased Competition - When Roku first came out there was very little in the way of competition. At the time, Apple TV with it's closed channels store tied mainly to iTunes and Western Digital were really the only real alternatives available.

Now we have the Amazon Fire TV and the Chromecast streaming stick. Both have proven to be extremely popular. 

Courtesy Google - Click for larger view
Roku is also facing competition from a long list of Android TV Media Streamers that offer XBMC (now called Kodi) and a large selection of Apps that let users watch Free TV Shows and Movies. Watching this type of content is still much harder to do on Roku.

Stagnant Hardware - American consumers love power. While we watched Android TV boxes come out with one Quad-Core after another and even Octa-Core CPU media streamers for a while now. 

Roku has not upgraded their Dual-Core CPU on their top model for several years now.

Maybe Roku has been following Apple's lead who also have not updated their Apple TV hardware in many years.

Even so, in a recent study just released by Adobe on streaming habits from the last year. It has shown that AppleTV once again has overtaken Roku as the most used streamer to watch Internet video content.

Roku did just release a minor voice search feature on a new updated Roku 3 model this year. When they release their next model, maybe they should just forget about a quad core media streamer. 

If Roku really wants to recapture the highly coveted first place slot, release their next top model streamer with eight cores or more.

Smarter Consumers - Now that media streaming and cable cutting is becoming more and more mainstream. People have been getting a lot more educated on streaming. 

While Roku media players are perfect for beginners, and many people are still happy and content to stay with Roku. Some savy consumers are ready to advance to the next level and are looking at other alternatives including the new hyper performing NVIDIA Shield Android Streaming and Gaming platform.

They are also looking more towards platforms that support popular streaming software like Kodi/XBMC, with all the great add-ons and already comes pre-installed on most Android TV boxes.  

To be fair though, Plex and Playon are both available on Roku and they are both great alternatives. 

Roku's Secret WeaponRoku does have something else other top streamers can't touch. They have one of the largest collection of private Adult Entertainment channels yet unmatched by Apple, Amazon or Chromecast. 

Hopefully Roku keeps coming up with great new ideas and continues to be successful. We love their platform and what they did for the streaming community. 

With a little more focus, Roku can easily once again dominate the top sellers list in the media streaming market for many more years to come.

Add to the Conversation - Please join us on the Roku Rocks Facebook group, we would love to hear your comments.

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