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Roku, Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire could blow up the streaming era

  • Netflix, Disney+, Amazon and Hulu may bypass traditional providers, "but that doesn't mean there aren't intermediaries," says Eriq Gardner. "In many respects, Roku, Amazon Fire, Google Chromecast and other digital TV devices are becoming the new middlemen between the streaming apps with all the programming and the consumers who still appreciate having a menu when eating at a buffet. In turn comes the dealmaking, and for the moment, at least, it's the aggregators that seem to have gained the upper hand. Take the Nov. 8 announcement that Disney+ would be available on Amazon Fire. Although exact terms of the arrangement haven't been revealed, Amazon reportedly insisted on receiving a percentage of revenue from the ad space on Disney apps (including Hulu and ESPN+; Disney+ is ad-free). Other digital platforms, including Apple and Roku, take a bite of streaming revenue whenever consumers sign up for a service through their app and channel stores. According to insiders, some streamers are even paying more for good placement on digital interfaces, extra promotion and even incorporation into voice command technology."

    TOPICS: Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast