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Roku Highlights Best Practices for Set-Top Box Streaming Success

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Should set-top box and connected TV apps focus on providing video on-demand or live linear feeds? The answer is both, says Ziba Kaboli-Gerbrands, director of content acquisition for Roku. Speaking on a Streaming Media West panel on streaming apps, she said that partners that offer both, such as Vevo, do well.

"Its nice to have that mix," Kaboli-Gerbrands said. Some viewers want to find content, while others prefer to lean back and watch.

While Roku mostly streams VOD content, that's because there isn't much live linear on the platform yet, Kaboli-Gerbrands said. Time Warner Cable and ESPN offer authenticated apps, and both do well. When there's more live linear available on Roku, she expects that delivery will be more mixed. Roku encourages partners to offer both types of video.

"Both" is also the answer to the question should partners offer new content or repurposed video. It takes time to build an audience when showing only new content. Partners grow faster when they offer viewers a mix.

Creating a Roku app takes a development cycle of 2 to 3 months, Kaboli-Gerbrands said, and a budget of $10,000 to $15,000. Roku offers a certification turnaround of 2 to 3 weeks. Partners can get going with no money upfront to Roku, although Roku might take a cut of ad revenue later for successful channels. She added that 60 percent of Roku's partners are supported by ads.

While Roku doesn’t want to be in the white label business, Kaboli-Gerbrands said, it sometimes offers white label equipment as a way to break into a new market. In the U.K., the Sky Now TV Box is a Roku white label device. Roku recently got in the TV business by partnering with Hisense and TCL. Kaboli-Gerbrands noted that Wired called one of those sets the first smart TV that's actually smart.

Roku has now sold over 10 million devices in the U.S.,

"Its still early days in streaming media players," Kaboli-Gerbrands said. "There's room to grow."

Watch the full discussion below and download the moderator's presentation.


Ziba Kaboli-Gerbrands of Roku and Erik Vold of NRK

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