The company’s plans to start streaming The Roku Channel to other devices had already been reported, but not officially confirmed. Those plans became real last month, when Roku announced it would launch The Roku Channel on select Samsung Smart TVs this summer. However, Roku didn’t confirm then what other platforms, if any, would also gain access to the channel in the months ahead.
But clearly, it’s going to be quite a few – including, potentially, those from its hardware competitors who also make their own “media streaming devices.”
The idea with The Roku Channel is to create another revenue stream for the company that’s not tied to hardware sales.
This is a direction Roku has been heading for some time, by increasing its focus on its software platform. It has been licensing out its OS to other TV manufacturers – like Insignia, which sells its Roku TVs at Best Buy. (That happens to be the same retailer that just teamed up with Amazon to sell its Fire TV Edition sets, too.)
The Roku Channel runs on the Roku OS platform, but it can be broken off and distributed on its own.
Currently, The Roku Channel aggregates the free content on Roku, alongside TV and movies from deals Roku has done itself with studios like Lionsgate, MGM, Paramount, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Warner Brothers. Just this week, Roku added live news to its channel, too, via partnerships with Cheddar, PeopleTV and a brand-new streaming news service called ABC News Live.
With The Roku Channel, Roku is no longer just a media player platform – it’s a streaming service, as well.
The ad-supported channel could find traction on other hardware devices, where users today turn to free apps like Vudu (Vudu Movies on Us), Crackle, and Tubi TV to find free content.
Roku’s pitch to advertisers is its ad personalization technology, but users are able to opt out of this targeting through the form here, it seems.
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