The list of televisions Roku is pre-installed on continues to expand, as the company today added RCA to the mix. This means RCA-branded TVs will incorporate Roku’s operating system in the United States and Canada over the coming months to provide a native smart TV viewing experience.
Besides RCA, Roku has signed licensing deals with Element, Hitachi, TCL, Hisense, Insignia, and Sharp. As before, Roku will be working alongside RCA to develop smart TVs that run on the technology company’s OS, so consumers can easily access the 5,000 channels and 450,000 movies and TV episodes in Roku’s library.
“Our TV partners have seen incredible success growing their brands and market share, making Roku TV one out of every eight smart TV purchases in the U.S.,” said Chas Smith, general manager of Roku TV and players. “RCA is an iconic brand with deep roots in the living room. Consumers love the brand, and as we combine that with today’s modern streaming approach, RCA Roku TVs are sure to be a favorite this year.”
While it originally started as a set-top box, Roku has since expanded its reach by becoming a direct part of the TV, similar to what Samsung has done with its own smart TV offering, and what Element, Seiki, and Westinghouse have done with Amazon’s Fire TV OS. This is likely a win for Roku, because manufacturers may not have the capabilities to establish their own platform, and striking a licensing deal with as many TV makers as possible could distinguish a market leader.
Currently, Roku is powering streaming TV services for more than 14 million monthly viewers, with more than 9 billion hours of video and music streamed in 2016.
Even though RCA said the Roku-powered televisions will be available in the coming months, there’s no specific timeline provided as to when consumers will be able to purchase them.