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Roku Built the Dominant Streaming Box. Now It’s Under Siege

Everyone wants a piece of its ad business.
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Photo Illustration: 731; Photo: Getty Images

More than 30 million people use a Roku device to navigate the constellation of streaming TV services. The company’s portfolio includes the “stick” ($49.99), which resembles a USB drive; the “puck” ($79.99), a black square with smooth edges and minimal detailing; and a $400 smart TV with Roku Inc.’s operating system. The more expensive options offer better image quality and such features as extra digital storage space.

As the era of cable and satellite TV dims, Chief Executive Officer Anthony Wood says Roku is poised to keep capitalizing on the boom in streaming video. It’s an independent player that can work well with all the entrants, he says, including new services from Disney and Apple and forthcoming ones from AT&T and Comcast. “It’s satisfying to see the world be all in on streaming,” says Wood. “That’s nothing but excellent for Roku.” Many investors on Wall Street agree: The company’s stock is up more than 300% this year, and Roku is valued at over $17 billion.