Great article here on Tech Crunch on Roku's plan to launch an IPO this year. They are seeking a handsome $1 billion market cap in the public markets. Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Allen & Co. are selected as underwriters for the offering.
While I'm sure this announcement does not come as any great surprise, I think it is another nail in the coffin for the way most of us are used to consuming media, sitting in front of the television watching whatever scheduled program is on or anxiously waiting for our next episode of the Walking Dead.
Sure, most people my age and older probably still like to sit down with a cold one, or a box of cookies, whatever your preference, pick up the remote and drift off watching whatever mindless crap is on the tube. But if you look at kids, millennials and today's teens, they honestly could care less and are either too busy on their mobile devices to sit through an hour long show (half of which is commercials) or are used to binge watching or on-demand. My point is that you do not need to look very far and the reality is staring everyone in the face.
This shift will of course have a huge effect on advertising dollars. But the ultimate outcome is quite clear. I don't care whatever numbers, studies, demographics you want to throw in my face. What do we ALL do when a commercial comes on? We pick up our phones! After almost 18 years of personally working in the advertising industry, I can tell you its shifting. The big commercial projects with big budgets are gone or greatly reduced. Ads today last for mere seconds as we scroll up on our social media platforms. Nobody has time to watch a 30 second commercial anymore.
The digital age has just simply given us a better option, on demand consumption wherever and whenever we want. Why on earth would anyone want to sit and be limited to what is on or limited to a few episodes of on demand content when for a smaller price we can just opt for often superior content from things like Netflix and Amazon Prime.
In summary, if you're thinking traditional TV is here to stay, you're dead wrong and the rapid and massive growth of platforms like Roku is just more proof of the rapid future coming at you like a speeding train...get on board or get off the tracks. Chooo Chooo!!!!