Netflix Player By Roku Nearing 100,000 Units Sold: 1% Of Netflix’s Subscribers

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In an article I wrote for GigaOm.com yesterday entitled "Content Offerings Only Reach a Few Million TVs", I broke down of the number of non-PC related products like the Xbox 360, Roku, PS3, TiVo Series 3 and VUDU devices that are really capable of getting movies and other online video content. For my sales estimate of the Netflix player by Roku, I estimated that to date, Roku had sold 10,000 units.

Since publication of the article, I've now learned that the accurate number of units sold is closer to 100,000. While it surprised me the number was that high, it does seem possible, as that would equal about 1% of Netflix's 8.2 million customers. Considering the price point ($99) and the fact that the product's marketing is very focused, to a targeted audience, Roku's penetration rate would be higher than the average product that has only been on the market for eight weeks. Plus, once you have the Roku box, the content is free.

At this rate, it will not take too long for the Roku box to outsell Apple TV. Apple TV has been on sale for 20 months now and based on published reports, has sold a bit less than 400,000 units. Roku has sold nearly a quarter of that in only 2 months time. And with the promise of the Roku player being capable of getting more than just Netflix content down the road, this little device has some real potential to make a real impact in the market.

  • What’s your source here? The number is *very* high and I think it’s a little odd to make the claim without any kind of proof other than the phrase “I’ve since learned”. From who?

  • I am not going to say who my source is, if I was able to, I would have put that in the original post. I understand that many won’t be able to believe the data without knowing who it is from, and I understand, that’s a valid argument. But I will say that I am not speculating and will have to leave it at that. Thanks.

  • Laura

    I beleive this. I bought a Roku Netflix, and it’s a great purchase; it works REALLY well. I wish there were more new movies available, but Netflix has been really smart in their pricing, so you just get the new movies on DVD, and can watch other older movies as it strikes your fancy, with no limits. It surprising that the share price hasn’t reflected what a smart and savvy move this is for Netflix.

  • Richard

    I believe this, too. I bought one and told maybe 20 people about it and 5 of them bought one too. It’s a great product and the price point is right, although NetFlix needs to step it up in terms of the offerings. I was able to pull about 250 things into my Watch Instantly queue (no thanks to how it’s laid out, there needs to be a place where you can see ALL of the VOD fare in one list, and that’s nowhere to be found) but once my wife wields her veto over a lot of them, we’ll have a month’s worth of watching to do. That’s not enough.
    Lots of Showtime series on the plus side, a decent number of docs and then a lot of C-list stuff.

  • I bought one the first week and bought a second one a week later for my other TV. Plus, I’ve told everyone I know who has Netflix to buy them. Word of mouth alone is making these things sell like hot cakes. It’s only a matter of time before Netflix or Roku tells us the exact number of units and my guess is that someone from one of those two companies has already told Dan.

  • billmcf

    Here’s a list of instant watch titles:
    http://www.thenowhereman.com/netflix/
    You can click on any heading to sort the list.

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    Well done on The Mojave Experiment! For a company with some of the smartest developers in the world,

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  • Here’s another guy who loves his Roku box. I never would have rented Anaconda, but as crappy as it is, it’s perfect entertainment for a slow Saturday of net browsing + casual watching.

  • Why spend $99 on a box that only delivers movies? You can connect your pc to your tv with a $20 cable and watch streaming Netflix movies PLUS ANY OTHER INTERNET CONTENT THAT YOU WANT. I don’t get it.
    http://zipityzap.com/pctotv.html

  • Andrew S

    The reason being it’s simple to use and I can play video games or browse the internet while I watch the instant shows. I personally love the system, my girlfriend has watched the Jeff Dunham specials like 10 times already since getting it. All of heroes, my friend came over and we are half-way through dexter. Also get to relive my childhood a bit with Xena, it’s so funny to watch it when I’m older.
    They also have some damn nice anime for those who are into that. As netflix starts to get through the licensing issues we’ll be in for some real treats.

  • JH

    Does anyone have an updated total on how many Roku units have legitimately shipped? 100K was the initial #, but what’s gone out since then (and since NF announced Disney and CBS content, as well as Anthony Wood announced (9/23) an SDK in the works for the platform – to deliver more than NF content). Thanks

  • lassen

    As of 10/15/2008, unit shipment count is 94200.