Roku’s new tools lets anyone launch a video channel without writing code

Roku today is rolling out new tools that will make it simpler for anyone to bring their video content to its media player lineup, without having to write any code. With an update to the Roku Direct Publisher Platform, video creators can instead walk through a few steps, including providing a video feed, then have their new channel go live on Roku. Alongside this launch, the company is also stepping up its advertising options, and will now offer to handle all the video ads sales for publishers.

A number of companies have already used the new Direct Publisher Platform to launch their channels, including Above Average, Baeble Music, Comedy Dynamics, Cracked, FailArmy, Great Big Story, Mashable, Rolling Stone, Super Deluxe, UPROXX, Us Weekly and XLTV by XLrator Media, for example. Roku says the platform is also supported by online video platforms like Brightcove, JW Player, Kaltura and Ooyala.

By making it easier for publishers to go live on Roku, consumers will have more options available outside of paid subscription services, like Netflix or Hulu, or those offering rentals. Instead, these newly added channels can generate revenue through ads Roku sells, without the content creator necessarily being involved. Creators keep 60 percent of the net ad revenues, while the rest goes to Roku.

This sort of hands-off approach to publishing on Roku may also appeal to those who don’t have the resources to build specifically for the streaming platform.

Roku is investing in this area of free, ad-supported streaming because of its potential for growth.

In fact, the company says that this is currently the fastest-growing segment on its platform, and now accounts for half of the top 250 channels. In addition, more than 30 percent of all streaming ad impressions now flow through Roku, the company claims, citing Freewheel Q2 internal data.

Roku now has more than 10 million monthly active users, the company also says.

In addition to simplifying the publishing experience, Roku’s publishing platform ties into Roku Search. The company recently announced it now includes over 100 channels in search in the U.S. Those publishers who publish through the new platform, however, won’t have to wait to be included in search — that will happen automatically. Their updates can also appear in users’ personalized “My Feed” sections, Roku notes.

Roku’s publishing platform’s dashboard has been updated to include more detailed metrics, like streaming minutes per channel, number of installs, uninstalls and other items. Direct Publisher users will also have metrics on individual video performance, the company says.

The move follows the recent debut of an all-new line of Roku players, which have now ditched the numerical names (Roku 1, 2, 3 and 4) in favor of brands like “Express” or “Ultra.”