Roku's streamer was a simple Netflix box with potential, but now the company is teaming up with Clearleap (check after the break for a NewTeeVee interview with CEO Braxton Jarrat to offer it to cable companies as a combo unit that can also serve up their premium video on-demand content. No word yet on any MSOs stepping up to offer their VOD via the device, but Clearleap says it will be in "multiple trials" over the next few months and expects a limited commercial deployment by the end of this year. So far, "over the top" services and traditional cable VOD haven't lived together in any meaningful way, who wants to place odds this partnership gets the ball rolling?
Clearleap and Roku Partnership Builds Bridge for MSOs, Programmers
Deployment of Web-Based Workflow Expands MSO's Ability to Deploy near Real Time Advertising, Program Linear and VOD Channels
ATLANTA, GA and SARATOGA, CA -June 24, 2010- Clearleap, the web-based TV technology platform and Roku, the leading open streaming media platform to the home, today announced a partnership that will bring consumers volumes of premium television content-- from movie libraries of major studios to popular programs traditionally limited to pay TV services. The arrangement will leverage Clearleap's cloud-based universal video platform for content management and service delivery, giving pay TV operators and premium programmers a seamless opportunity to offer content and generate additional revenues with a branded Channel on the Roku player.
Clearleap's platform will enable paid VOD transactions to post directly through viewer's pay TV subscription information, allowing Roku users to consume free or pay VOD titles congruent with their subscription package, with transactions posting as part of their monthly TV service bill.
In addition to bolstering premium content offerings, the partnership positions Roku as an attractive, low cost set top box solution to the broader pay TV industry that will work on any TV in any home environment. For Clearleap, the partnership signals its intentions to expand its platform from a cloud- based solution found inside cable and IPTV ecosystems to a universal video technology platform designed for any type of operator and programmer focused on the ten foot television viewing experience. Clearleap's platform is currently deployed in thirty pay TV systems, including six of the top ten U.S. cable operators.
"Clearleap's platform opens a clear and easy pathway for premium programmers and TV operators to diversify the distribution of their content through the Roku player and will dramatically strengthen our value as an engaging living room entertainment device," said David Krall, president and COO of Roku, Inc. "This also makes a strong case for MSOs to consider using Roku players in the home with Clearleap as a complete managed VOD service."
"We built this platform with an eye on helping the TV industry leverage best of breed technologies to offer more value to consumers, programmers and operators. We are excited to launch our connected device solutions with Roku as our first deployment because they are set up to take the ball and run with it," said Clearleap co-founder and CEO Braxton Jarratt. "This partnership illustrates a viable way to bridge pay TV and Internet connected devices without abandoning the existing TV model. In fact, it extends the user experience while providing yet more opportunities for revenue generation and cross-platform presence."
The Clearleap/Roku managed IP VOD solution will be in multiple trials over the next six months, and the companies expect to launch a limited commercial deployment with a pay TV operator by the end of 2010.
Roku was first to market with streaming TV services from Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX), Amazon Video On Demand (Nasdaq: AMZN), MLB.TV, and Ultimate Fighting Championship. Clearleap is now deployed in the infrastructures of 6 of the top ten pay TV services.