A Netflix/Roku Deal Could Avoid the Next Major Streaming Carriage Dispute
On Wednesday, rumors started swirling that Netflix could be interested in buying Roku in order to help with their upcoming ad-supported tier. While there has been pushback from the analyst community, if the two companies don’t reach a deal, there could be major carriage dispute brewing.
In the last 18 months, Roku has had difficult negotiations with Peacock and HBO Max, which saw both services launch without the support of the largest smart TV platform in the United States. Roku also narrowly avoided losing the Fox Sports App ahead of the 2020 Super Bowl.
But, most recently the company had a prolonged dispute with YouTube TV and narrowly avoided seeing the YouTube App removed from the platform.
If Netflix doesn’t acquire Roku, could this be the next major carriage dispute for the platform?
Historically, Netflix has been such a behemoth that it received special treatment from platforms that would allow the streaming giant to pay less — or nothing at all — for inclusion on platforms or streaming remotes. And when the company didn’t get such sweetheart deals, it could avoid paying platforms by having users sign-up directly on its website and just use the app to log-in and stream.
That won’t be so easy when the SVOD launches its ad-supported tier.
Most platforms, notably Roku and Amazon Fire TV, ask for a portion of ad inventory in exchange for appearing on their platforms. That was a major sticking point in deals for Peacock and HBO Max. In some cases, Roku has even asked for access to content in order to make it available as part of its free ad-supported service, The Roku Channel.
Now that Netflix is searching for subscriber growth, the streamer doesn’t have the same leverage as it used to, where it might have been able to push back before. If Netflix wants to successfully launch its ad-supported tier, it is going to need partners like Roku and Fire TV. Netflix has never been in this position before, so if the two sides don’t reach a deal, this could very well be the next major dispute between a streaming platform and a streaming service.
Netflix is a subscription video streaming service that includes on-demand access to 3,000+ movies, 2,000+ TV Shows, and Netflix Originals like Stranger Things, Squid Game, The Crown, Tiger King, and Bridgerton. They are constantly adding new shows and movies. Some of their Academy Award-winning exclusives include Roma, Marriage Story, Mank, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
Netflix offers four plans — on 2 device in HD with their “Standard with Ads” ($6.99) plan, on 1 device in SD with their “Basic” ($9.99) plan, on 2 devices in HD with their “Standard” ($15.49) plan, and 4 devices in up to 4K on their “Premium” ($19.99) plan.
Netflix spends more money on content than any other streaming service meaning that you get more value for the monthly fee.
Roku is a streaming device that can be used to watch Live TV Streaming Services and On Demand Streaming Services.