Roku has announced that its ad-supported movie and TV channel will soon be available on third-party smart TVs in the U.S.
The Los Gatos-based company, which is better known for its range of video-streaming players, launched the Roku Channel last September. So far, the content has only been available through Roku players and TVs with the Roku operating system installed, but it will be landing on Samsung smart TVs from this summer.
Aside from a previous channel launched to showcase Roku’s 4K streaming devices, the Roku Channel is the company’s first own-brand TV channel, though of course it only offers licensed movies and TV shows, rather than original content. But with Roku fresh from its IPO late last year, some have speculated that the company may look beyond its existing business model — which includes advertising, software licensing, and revenue-splitting — to move into original content. The Roku Channel could be the perfect vehicle for showcasing some of Roku’s own programming in the future, and now that it’s coming to Samsung TVs, it will have a much bigger audience.
But original content is likely a long way off, if it happens at all, so for now Roku will be content with spreading its brand onto the biggest smart TV platform globally.