OTT = Over the top.
Over the top (OTT) is a term used to refer to content providers that distribute streaming media as a standalone product directly to viewers over the Internet, bypassing telecommunications, multichannel television, and broadcast television platforms that traditionally act as a controller or distributor of such content.
So like Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hula, Disney+…etc
Roku is a platform that allows you access to these content providers on/for your TV. It’s a crowded field for them.
The going theory is that because they’ve been given a big headstart as the neutral platform that gives you, the consumer, access to every OTT content provider, they now have so many apps, or channels developed, that no new upstarts can compete. Now I know what you’re thinking, and I agree - I don’t care about all the hundred of rubbish channels that they advertise. I just want a fast clean OS that allows me to flick easily between the big channels Netflix, Amazon, Disney, Youtube, Hulu…etc
I don’t care whether I’m using appleTV, samsung, android TV or Roku. So long as it works. Maybe things have changed, but last I looked, everything really did pale compared to Roku. Simple things like the ability to search for a movie, from the home screen, and have the search look into all your channels, can be done in Roku but couldn’t in some of the others. Maybe that’s changed now as it’s such a simple feature. I know samsung had issues with their OS - slow, clunky, dated.
But look at it from the view of TV manufacturers. What smartTV OS will they want to put into their TVs to sell? The most popular OS with the highest number of developed apps/channels is a good start.
Of course, if Amazon approaches you and offers you a boatload of money to include their Fire OS, you’ll take that.
I’m writing a lot about Roku recently. In the past I’ve been completely against it because I saw it as a pure hardware play. Others, and TMF, saw differently and called it right. At the moment, you just have to go with the numbers, and ROKU is leading the charge in this field, with a 37% marketshare.
Amazon is #2 with 28%, up from 24% and 16% the previous years.