“We’re opening up the platform to anyone who wants to put their video service on this box,” says Wood. “We’re going to release the software developer kit, so anyone can publish any channel, and users can access web content on their TVs.”
Without revealing their sales figures and projections, I’m not certain how compelling an SDK would be for the major players (Hulu, YouTube) to develop something in a vaccuum. Certainly, some of the smaller sites, like a Jaman, might find this an appealing way to extend their brand. However, Roku really needs to be the one driving collaborative relationships to provide additional quality content. So Roku has an SDK and YouTube has an API… but who’s going to build it? Ultimately, it’s in Roku’s best interest to continue working the phones – there’s a much larger audience of potential Hulu and YouTube viewers than there are Netflix subscribers. Related, there’s been speculation that the box may be renamed at some point to deemphasize Netflix. Who, by the way, is now streaming CBS and Disney Channel television content.