Weekly News Roundup (May 20, 2018)
Welcome back from a “much longer than I thought it would be” hiatus. A combination of travelling, getting sick from travelling and then lack of news meant that the WNR had to be postponed. Until now!
So we finally do have news this week, not too much, but enough to get the old keyboard out and write up a WNR.
There’s been a bit of an unwanted copyright spotlight on Roku, with the company facing legal action in Mexico. This is probably why Roku has decided to take a more proactive strategy towards anti-piracy enforcement, and they have started to remove channels that aren’t solidly in the legitimate camp in terms of content.
This strategy appears to have caused some friendly fire last week, when Roku decided that both YouTube and Netflix were no longer on the right side of the (copyright) law, and blocked both channels with their now infamous “FBI warning screen” (where they explain why the channel was removed).
Facing a customer backlash, Roku quickly took to Twitter to explain the whole thing had been a mistake, and that the channels may have been inadvertently blocked during one of Roku’s anti-piracy actions (when they were trying to block another channel).
With the creative industry taking aim at all streaming related activity, I guess it’s only wise on Roku’s part to take proactive action. Just not so proactive that they start blocking the likes of Netflix and YouTube, obviously.
The latest DEG report on the state of the (US) home entertainment industry is out for Q1 2018, and it pretty much reads as you would expect it to read. Almost everything digital is doing great, particularly streaming, and that’s more than making up for losses in physical media sales and all kinds of rentals.
Of particular interest to loyal readers of this feature will be the near 29% increase in revenue for subscription streaming compared to Q1 2017, shows that there seems to be still room to grow for the streaming business. 4K Ultra HD sales are booming as well, with sales up 130% and now accounting for 12% of all Blu-ray sales. And 35 million households now have at least one 4K TV set.
So it seems that the home entertainment industry is moving towards digital, streaming and 4K and a rather rapid pace, and it seems this time at least, they are ready to take advantage (with a little bit of help from Netflix, Amazon, Apple and other tech companies).
Short and sweet one this week. No idea if the next week is going to be better, or worse, or absolutely amazing. Hoping for the latter then!