Roku is one of the most successful streaming platforms out there. Sure, the menu isn’t nearly as pretty as what you’ll find on the Apple TV 4K or the Fire TV Stick. But Roku, built into some TVs and available as a standalone set-top box, has a near-unparalleled range of streaming apps, games, and more.
While most competitors always have an app or two in their library (for example, All4 isn’t available in Chromecast with Google TV), Roku has access to pretty much anything you’ll ever want to stream, not to mention some streaming services, that you’d probably rather dodge. Over the past year, Roku has dramatically expanded its offering with The Roku Channel, which includes hundreds of hours of television and movies for free.
The Roku Channel is ad supported, so you will have to endure some commercial breaks. That’s a small price to pay, however – especially if Netflix and Disney + are raising prices this year.
Roku has already bought shows from the unfortunate smartphone streaming service Quibi, which will air on the Roku channel in the coming months. Some of them never got the chance to broadcast on Quibi, which she does exclusively for Roku. And that’s apparently just the beginning of the U.S. company’s ambitions when it comes to streaming.
According to a new job posting from Roku, the company is looking to create its own original “episode and feature productions” to join its “growing list of original content”. Given that everything previously broadcast on the Roku Channel was developed, filmed, and funded by someone else, it was a surprise that Roku even developed a list of original content (let alone an “expanding” one).
The new role of Roku, the senior production attorney in San Monica, California, suggests that we can expect a number of original TV shows and movies from the streaming set-top box company soon. Some of its competitors, including Amazon, Google, and Apple, have already achieved this, and Roku will have to do some serious catch-up to be on par with these competitors.
Exclusive content not available anywhere else can be a powerful incentive to stream on one platform over another. Roku has already signed deals with the largest streaming companies in the world including YouTube, Google Play Movies, Apple TV +, Prime Video, Netflix, Disney +, Shudder, Arrow TV, BBC iPlayer, All4, ITV Hub, and more make switching to a competing device a very difficult decision.
It’s worth noting that it will likely be a while before we see original Roku shows.
If the company is only now looking to hire production attorneys, the process is likely to be in the very early stages of development. Still, it shows how much value Roku sees in original productions that viewers can’t stream anywhere else. Currently, the Roku Channel is available for free to anyone with a Sky Q box. It’s unclear whether the original shows and films will be available to Sky TV customers or just streaming devices.