Roku Not Likely To Lose The Amazon App

Okay Roku users, I’m going to encourage you to calm down. This week the Internet has been abuzz concerning the latest threat to the universe, otherwise known as the possibility that Amazon and Roku are going to come to an impasse that would somehow remove the Amazon video app from Roku devices.

I can understand why that would be a concern considering the millions of people who have access to Amazon Prime Video via their subscriptions and the number of them who have apps on Roku powered television and streaming devices.

But like I said calm down. You don’t have to go out and buy a new TV or a bunch of new devices. Could you have to one day? If the worst case scenario for both companies occurs yes. But it would be the worst case scenario for Amazon and Roku. So it probably won’t happen.

Why are people even talking about this? Again it goes back to data. All of these streaming companies want your data. What are you watching, when are you watching, who are you, do you have kids, how old are you?

People think that every single dispute in the television industry is about money and rights. And that’s kind of true but it’s because data is money. Knowing who is out there and whether you’re reaching them or not is like a license to print money. That again is at the core of what could be a brewing problem between Amazon and Roku, and in this case the concern is over the IMDb app. IMDb TV is owned by Amazon as well as the website IMDb TV. And as the IMDb TV app has spread across platforms Amazon wants to know who is watching. Because the more they know about that the more money they can get from advertisers.

The talk that the Amazon Prime Video app will be pulled off of Roku stems from the fact that IMDb TV is owned by Amazon and that eventually Roku will have to negotiate the carriage of the Amazon app regardless of what happened with IMDb TV. So people are anticipating that Amazon will try to use access to the more well-known Amazon video app in order to get the information they want from the IMDb TV app on Roku.

Where does all of this come from? It comes from one report from one publication called The Information. No I’m not saying that just because it’s based on one report for one publication that it is not true. But I am saying that to get bent out of shape over one report from one publication might be a little much. And yes multiple websites that talk about streaming have been reporting on this issue but all they’re doing is saying that The Information said so without any other confirmation from any other sources or named sources or official comments from the stake holders. Judge that how you like.

But it would not be too much of a stretch to expect the conversations like this happen constantly among the brokers of the TV and streaming world without it being reported on. To the general public everything just seems the same day in and day out. Just like you were unaware of conversations between your medical provider and pharmaceutical sales reps. You don’t know where the medicine comes from you just know that the doctor writes the prescription and you get it filled. You don’t know where McDonald’s buys its meat. You just know that you love the fries.

Will Roku permanently lose access to all of Amazon’s services? There is no telling really, but any other company including Apple and Google could end up in the same fight with Amazon and vice versa. This is the world that happened when Hardware manufacturers also have their own streaming services. Roku could just as well tell Android that it wants more data from Android so that it can tell how many people are using its Roku channel app and then threatened to pull the Roku channel app off of Android TV. So to say “I’m going to throw away all of my Rokus and buy Chromecasts” is more than a little bit short-sighted.

You should expect to see Apple TV and Amazon come to some sort of disagreement you should expect to see Google and Amazon getting an argument as well threatening to pull the Amazon Prime app off of the Chromecast or threatening to pull YouTube and YouTube TV off the Amazon Fire TV again. But it will all come out in the wash.

The most helpful thing I can tell anybody is always have more than one streaming platform. These are little devices that cost as little as $25 it’s not like having to own for me cars or two houses. If you have a Roku powered TV there is no reason not to have a $25 Android TV dongle Fire TV Lite or something, and the same goes for any other streaming platforms. You should always have a different one because there will be fights over data, advertising, or who knows what forever.