Netflix is the subject of reports exploring its potential interest in Roku, the maker of set-top boxes and televisions often used to stream its vast library of TV shows and movies.
According to a Business Insider report, Roku could be about to resurrect its historic relationship with Netflix, only on a much grander scale than when the first streaming box arrived in 2008.
The first ever Roku player was actually designed internally at Netflix, but when the content company decided not to launch an own-branded device, it was spun out into Roku as the first affordable streaming player. Netflix was an early investor to the tune of $6 million, but any acquisition now would likely add a whole bunch of zeroes to that figure.
The speculation today comes following the closure of the trading window for Roku employees. The reason, BI sources say, is the internal chatter among the company’s employees is that Netflix is circling and considering a bid.
“Employees are buzzing about the possibility of the possibility of an acquisitions – and their talk and hopes are pinned on Netflix,” the report says. “Employees at Roku have been discussing the possibility of a Netflix acquisition in recent weeks, according to people familiar with the matter.”
It’s not clear whether the interest is reciprocated from Netflix, but considering Netflix is available on every conceivable platform already the benefits of such an expensive acquisition aren’t immediately apparent.
The acquisition of a hardware company, which also makes branded television sets as well as set-top boxes and streaming sticks, could give Netflix more opportunities to shape its future.
The company’s expansion into gaming is also something to consider. It may like to have its own operating system to present its content. Elsewhere, with Netflix about to offer ad-supported plans, it may be looking to acquire Roku’s advertising network.