The company’s set-top boxes, which range in price from $49-$99, allow people to access over 350 channels of content from video, music, social and gaming services. The move makes sense for Roku since its largest media partner, Netflix, is already available in Canada and will soon launch in the U.K.
Netflix has been an integral part of Roku’s success since launching in 2008. The partnership helped Roku sell over a million set-top boxes last year. The latest version of Roku’s boxes even feature a Netflix button on the remote. It’s no wonder that the company has waited until now to enter into international markets.
However, many of the other media partners are region specific due to legal issues around streaming video content internationally. This means they won’t necessarily be available in other countries. For instance, Hulu Plus, which offers a variety of ad-supported premium TV content, won’t be crossing the border when Roku debuts in the new markets. It’ll be interesting to see who Roku is able to forge partnerships with when it launches internationally.
Roku is scheduled to begin selling its line of set-boxes in both countries in early 2012, according to the company.