Livestream is introducing a whole new app for Roku streaming devices that will enable viewers to watch its live events and archived on-demand videos from their big-screen TVs. The new app is actually Livestream’s first attempt to bring its live channels and on-demand archives to a connected TV device.
So why Roku? And why now? The answer to the latter question, according to Livestream CEO Max Haot, is that the quality of the content is finally ready for watching on a big-screen TV.
“We’ve been holding back on connected TV deployment,” Haot said. “We wanted video quality of all our events to be in HD… Now we’ve reached the point where almost all of our content is in HD.”
The company was also in the midst of a transition from a channel-based to an event-based display, with all the events that are actually going on shown front and center. When a user tunes in to the Roku app, they’ll be greeted with a screen of featured events, which they can scroll through, as well as a schedule of upcoming events.
If there’s nothing that interests them or they can’t find what they want to watch, viewers can search for individual channels or pieces of content. In addition to all of the live events that are displayed in the app, users can also viewing archived, on-demand videos from Roku boxes as well.
As for why Roku became its first connected TV platform, Haot said that the company was drawn by the device’s existing user base of millions. It also helps that Roku has a pretty open development platform on which video distributors like Livestream can build. While Roku is the first connected TV device that Livestream will support, Haot said the company is looking to get on other devices, like Xbox and PlayStation game consoles.
Already, Livestream has live content from more than 60 local news stations in the U.S., as well as live streams from companies like the New York Times, Associated Press, SpaceX, Warner Bros. Records, and Marvel Comics. It also supports a wide range of annual events such as the Grammy and Oscar Red Carpets, New York Fashion Week, TEDx talks, the Sundance Film Festival, and the Clinton Global Initiative.
But the Roku app could attract even more content, as it makes getting to the TV a whole lot easier for online broadcasters. Third-party content providers previously had to build their own Roku apps and choose a CDN and content management system to manage their broadcasts. But now, they’ll be able to instantly get up and running by letting Livestream handle the distribution, with their audiences able to watch on the TV via Roku boxes.