Roku Branded TVs Are On the Way

By: James Flippin · January 06, 2023 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

Roku’s Competition

Roku (ROKU) is a major player in the streaming industry, producing digital media players through which users can access major streaming platforms like Disney+ (DIS) and Netflix (NFLX). However, unlike competitors such as Amazon (AMZN) and Comcast (CMCSA), Roku has yet to release its own smart TVs.

Producing branded TVs is a major advantage for streaming companies. It allows them to choose which services are promoted over others. For example, on a Fire TV, Amazon can promote Prime Video over the Roku Channel. It’s akin to Apple (AAPL) owning its own app store and promoting its own apps.

Now, Roku wants in on the action.

Going It Alone

Roku makes most of its money by selling ads, not hardware. For this reason, it’s critical that Roku controls the audience experience, creating a platform consumers count on as their portal to content.

To do so, Roku has long produced streaming boxes, dongles, and even co-branded TVs powered by Roku’s software. However, these products rely on hardware from manufacturing partners like Walmart (WMT) and TCL (TCLHF), limiting the company’s influence on user experience.

Now, Roku has announced two types of branded TVs that will use its tech both inside and out. Although details of the deal are sparse, Roku will reportedly command final say on the design of the branded TVs.

The Roku TV

Along with the announcement, Roku introduced two models of TVs: the lower-priced Roku Select, starting at $119, and the higher-end Roku Plus, ranging up to $999. Both smart TV options are slated for release in spring 2023 and will come with streaming options, inputs, and free live TV.

For Roku, these TVs will be critical as the company attempts to carve out a larger share in the streaming market. For consumers, the stakes aren’t quite so high, but hey – if streaming were to become even more convenient, we wouldn’t complain.

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