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OEM Overview Series: Deploying on Roku

Mrugesh Desai

VP North America, Accedo

December 6, 2022


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Video streaming viewing figures have risen dramatically over recent years. According to Conviva’s State of Streaming Q2 2022 report, globally, Smart TVs and Connected TV devices account for 70% of total viewing hours. More viewers are watching content from their living room devices for longer periods of time. Regionally, North America holds the largest share of big-screen streaming hours at 82.1% with both Connected TV devices and Smart TVs tied at 37.6% for market share.The market is extremely dynamic and there is a need for content providers to continually look to strengthen their video service and attract subscribers. One way to do this is to expand on to additional platforms.In this first post in the series looking at different OEMs, we explore Roku and how to evaluate its potential as a growth tool for your service.

Battle of the devices

There are a number of big-screen devices out there all clamoring for their market share. Both Fire TV and Samsung are popular, as are Android TV, Apple TV and LG.Roku, however, currently holds the largest share of global streaming time on big-screen devices. As per Conviva’s report, Roku has a 23% market share globally and a 33% share of the North American market. Roku is clearly doing something right!Consumers are adopting Roku for its ease of use, affordability, and added benefits due to its partnerships with Smart TV manufacturers like TCL.Content providers are leveraging Roku’s large market share to make their brand more widely available to a large segment of viewers, leading to user and revenue growth.When deciding whether or not Roku is the right platform for your service, it’s important to understand what is involved, and what considerations need to be made, when designing, developing, and deploying your service on the Roku platform.

What do you need to consider before deploying on Roku?

Roku is fairly nuanced, and deploying a premium custom video application on the platform requires knowledge of the Roku Brightscript tech stack, device spectrum, and a specific set of certification requirements, which is unique compared to most other device platforms.While the requirements covered below may seem complex, Roku operates a preferred developer program that allows content providers to leverage the OEM approved developers which have the proven experience, knowledge, and skilled team needed to execute custom Roku application deployments.The below criteria will be helpful to keep in mind when evaluating your potential development partner to deploy a premium and quality experience.

  • Roku offers a “Direct Publisher” path to create a simple channel for the publishers who don't want to get into the programming realm. To implement a custom channel experience on the Roku platform, BrightScript with its UI framework, SceneGraph, is required. BrightScript is a powerful scripting language used only on the Roku platform that helps you implement a channel customized for your audience and media.
  • In order to ensure the overall quality of the Roku platform, all public channels in the Roku Channel Store go through a thorough certification review process for specific functional, design, and performance requirements before being published. Roku provides guidelines on the certification process that developers should follow.
  • Every public channel on the Roku platform is certified on all currently-supported Roku models before being published. The list of supported devices includes a wide range of product classes, from entry-level set-top-boxes to 4K HDR TVs, and everything in between. This variance means that some devices are much more powerful than others. Therefore, the channels need to be designed in a way that can provide the best and highest performing user experience on any device model. 

It is also important to be aware that Roku has many platform specific requirements which developers must comply with, before submitting apps for certification. This includes features from basic design principles and catalog search availability through deep linking, to more complex payment and advertising integrations via Roku SDK.Accedo has established a strong partnership with Roku and its extended team, developed over the course of the last 8 years of working together on a regular basis.As a Roku preferred developer with over 65+ Roku apps deployed globally, and across various content verticals such as News, Sports, Entertainment, Lifestyle, and Pay TV, we understand the nuances it presents and have the platform expertise on many levels.If you would like to find out more about deploying on Roku, please get in touch.

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