Field of Streams: Roku Celebrates 5 Million Set-Top Shipments

Paul Lilly

It's been five years since Roku introduced its first player.

In 2008, the easiest way to stream Netflix to your television without a home theater PC (HTPC) nearby was through a Roku box. For that reason, Roku's first device became known as the Netflix player, because that's really all that it was used for. Things have certainly changed since then. Now five years later, streaming entertainment is big business, and Roku's been there along the way, having just shipped its 5 millionth streaming player in the U.S.

"What are people streaming on Roku [today]? Tons of TV shows and movies. Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, Crackle, HBO GO and VUDU are all top favorites," Roku Founder and CEO, Anthony Wood, stated in a blog post announcing the shipment milestone. "Music is extremely popular, and consumers enjoy Pandora, VEVO and Spotify among other choices. News, sports, science and foreign languages from around the world are also big hits."

In other words, streaming media is about much more than just Netflix, and Roku's been able to adapt to the broadened landscape. Since 2008, Roku's delivered 8 billion video and music streams to Roku players, which today boast around 750 channels. A quarter of all Roku players stream more than 35 hours per week, Wood claims.

An accompanying infographic reveals some other fun stats. For example, would you have guessed that over 3 billion "Bad Piggies" have been eliminated on Angry Birds just from Roku players? In fact, Roku owners have collectively spent 12 million hours playing casual games on their set-top box.

"What does the future of TV look like? There's not doubt it will be streamed," Wood added.

Follow Paul on Google+ , Twitter , and Facebook

Around the web