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Photo: Tiffany Hagler-Geard/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The streaming wars are quickly shifting from content to distribution through TV operating systems.

  • Amazon Fire TVs, which will be available starting tomorrow, are the first product recommended when users search for TVs in their Amazon browser.
  • Comcast XClass TVs debuted last week as a new TV built specifically for streaming content.

Why it matters: Roku is currently the top TV operating system in North America, but rivals see this holiday season as an opportunity to dethrone the streaming giant.

  • Google, which owns the Android TV operating system, last week elevated its spat with Roku over the distribution of YouTube TV and YouTube on its apps.
  • The tech giant is threatening to make its YouTube app unavailable to new Roku users if the companies didn't come to a new distribution agreement in December, threatening Roku's holiday sales.
  • Sources say Roku has been in touch with some lawmakers about what it considers to be anti-competitive demands made by Google. Reports suggests Google has made anti-competitive demands via email despite it denying having done so.

What they're saying: "We have been surprised how Apple, Google and Amazon have all stood by as Roku became the dominant tvOS player — effectively becoming a gatekeeper to the connected TV world," LightShed Partners' Rich Greenfield, Brandon Ross and Mark Kelley wrote on an analyst blog for clients.

The big picture: Unlike mobile, the digital TV space will unlikely be dominated by one or two big players, such as Google and Facebook.

  • "The main thing that matters is that (connected) TV will be the first platform that will remain (very) fragmented and no single (or duo) winner will emerge," said Tal Chalozin, CTO and co-founder of Innovid, an ad tech company.

Go deeper

Nov 16, 2021 - Economy & Business

Netflix debuts new streaming metrics

Photo: Netflix

Netflix on Tuesday unveiled a new website that's meant to provide a more transparent look at how its content is performing. It also unveiled a new way to measure that performance.

Why it matters: Netflix has long faced criticism that the numbers it reveals about its content are inconsistent and, because they aren't vetted by third parties, they're biased.

Movie theaters go out of style

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Vaccination rates are going up, people are going out to restaurants again — although the new COVID variant may get in the way — but they still aren't rushing back to the movies.

By the numbers: Some 49% of pre-pandemic moviegoers are no longer hitting theaters, according to a study from the film research company The Quorum, as reported by the New York Times.

3 hours ago - Health

Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles down

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

European countries are doubling down on pressure campaigns to get people vaccinated just as Republicans continue to wage war — often successfully — against vaccine mandates in the U.S.

Why it matters: The starkly different approaches create a sharp contrast between the regions' approaches to vaccination, even as the Omicron variant rapidly spreads around the world.