Comcast On Its Way to Become a Streaming Titan
US giant communications and media company, Comcast is reportedly considering acquiring Roku, which is a manufacturer of media-streaming devices. On 23rd, Wall Street Journal (WSJ) published that the Comcast CEO Brian Roberts considering strengthening the partnership with ViacomCBS rather than merging, or to acquire Roku. This report was published while the global media market is being rapidly reorganized into OTT (online video service) such as Netflix, leading to acceleration of business consolidation. However, it is not officially confirmed by Comcast and Roku.
Photo Source: The Wrap
Comcast is a giant media company with subsidiaries such as the entertainment and media company Universal, Sky TV UK, as well as the telephone and internet service company, Xfinity. Last July, Comcast launched its own streaming service Peacock, in line with the OTT trends. However, it takes up a small proportion of the streaming market share compared to Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime. Such competitors have made multiple acquisitions to enhance their streaming service since last year. In the case of Amazon Prime, it is acquiring MGM, a content production company well known for producing the movie 007 series.
Hence, the market is estimating that Comcast will merge with the competing company, ViacomCBS. It has other leading broadcasters such as CBS and Paramount Studio. As of March, it introduced a streaming service, Paramount+. Despite the market estimation, WSJ reported that Comcast is considering expanding business collaboration with ViacomCBS rather than merging, or to acquire Roku.
On the other hand, WSJ points out that it is rather uncertain if Comcast will acquire Roku, which tripled in value over a year, up to $ 53 billion. Moreover, Mr. Roberts pursued a way to internally enhance and build the platform through investing in software over the years. It estimates a strategy to provide smart TVs with streaming software (X1) created by Mr. Roberts can be devised to compete with others such as Apple TV. Accordingly, Comcast is developing the smart TV with a Chinese electronic company Hisense and USA’s largest retailer Walmart under the plan of PlatCo. Based on internal insights, the smart TV can be introduced to the market within this year.
The streaming industry and the media are keen to know what exact move Comcast is willing to take on next, and its possible impact of overall streaming services.
Article Source: https://www.hankyung.com/international/article/202106243108i