Roku Channel Guide: 3 Ways Of Building an App for Your Brand

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    Roku is one of the leading devices for streaming video content over the top (OTT). With its help, live videos and VOD (video-on-demand) content is being delivered to Smart TV. Users have access to many channels containing videos of various categories and it’s no secret that Roku has the highest watch time all over the globe. It has a 43% share of the US market and 30% of the worldwide OTT market. Additionally, 17 billion hours of videos in the US were streamed in 2020 with the number growing year by year. 

    But Roku is not only a great opportunity for the viewers to access top-quality content. It also opens up a lot of possibilities for the brands to show up on the OTT/CTV arena, engage customers and gain higher popularity and revenue by launching a Roku channel. Taking into account the ever-growing success of the platform, the advantages of having a channel would seem obvious. But we would like to touch upon all the benefits to finally convince you that if you don’t have Roku TV channel yet, you had better start creating one today.

    Why should you create a Roku app?

    OTT content keeps on gaining momentum and more and more viewers are switching from traditional TV to OTT/CTV because it makes content easily available at any time. By 2027, the number of people who consume streaming content and videos on demand is expected to exceed 3,500 million viewers and this year the revenue is going to reach US$275.30 billion. Roku is surely ahead of the game, and if you haven’t discovered its ins and outs yet, it’s high time to start.

    In the fourth quarter of 2021, Roku had more than 61 million monthly active viewers in the US. This  means that millions of people using Roku TV online get access to a vast content library of a full catalog of streaming channels. There is no need for cable or satellite TV since Roku opens up so much superior video content that can be accessed easily at any time.   

    If you create, produce or distribute high-quality content and want to share it with as many viewers as possible to take your brand awareness to a new level, you won’t doubt for a  minute that you should build an app on Roku. It’s a guaranteed way of expanding your audience, increasing viewer satisfaction, and getting higher revenue. 

    What does it mean for your brand?

    Firstly, you are able to expand your audience greatly. Your new channel will be the right place to make customers aware of your best offers, products, and services, and give them value through your exclusive content, whether it is entertaining or educational. With more and more TV consumers cutting the cord and switching to OTT/CTV content, it is an ideal  platform for delivering your brand message to a broader audience and attracting new customers.

    With your own Roku TV app you can reach out  not only to your current   viewers but also to a new audience. It helps you accomplish two tasks at once – giving your  existing customers an additional way to interact with your content, and attracting new  clients who will stay loyal to the brand. These benefits make it a great decision to go ahead with your brand’s Roku channel creation, and it is easier than you might think. 

    How to launch your own Roku channel

    We’d like to describe the 3 main ways of establishing channels on Roku and stress  their benefits and any possible snags that might need to be overcome. These methods include creating a channel with Roku Direct Publisher, developing it from the ground up with the help of tech experts or requesting a custom channel creation, maintenance and promotion from a trustworthy CTV app development company. Let’s find out which method fits your aims and budget best!

    1. Use Roku Direct Publisher

    This is one of the quickest ways to create a Roku channel since Roku offers its own tool called Roku Direct Publisher for building a new app from scratch but with minimum effort. You will be able to cope with every step almost intuitively: from choosing a name for your future app, uploading and categorizing your content to linking to the Roku ad server and monetization.

    You are not required to write any code as everything is already remade by Roku. All further updates will also run automatically, so all you need to do is to choose a template, customize it to your preferences and upload your content, then watch it being enjoyed by thousands of CTV viewers. Building a channel with Roku Direct Publisher saves time and expense as you don’t have to look for technical experts or master any tech skills yourself, and the cost is much lower than for the custom development method. With the help of the intuitive user interface, you can specify some basic information about your channel, provide marketing assets and enable ads in case you are going to monetize your videos

    Sample of Roku Direct Publisher app creation

    However, there are some extra considerations as well. For example, when you use this method, you are limited in options, e.g. you cannot integrate third-party providers to get more robust analytics, use expanded monetization options or enjoy the cross-platform interface. Though you can use Roku Direct Publisher free of charge, you still should be ready to spend  money on services required for your channel creation. There are some technical aspects you’ll need to deal with to create a channel, and they are not free. Let’s see what they are:

    1. Content Delivery Network: this is the server where your videos are stored and from where they are delivered to your channel. The price will depend on the type of service you choose and the amount of storage you need.
    2. Content feed: is a piece of MRSS or JSON code that contains all the metadata needed to stream your content. As Roku has its own language, you will have to hire a competent developer to do the coding for your feed.

    It may take up to several weeks for your channel to go live. But even after its launch, you will have to invest in its maintenance, so be ready for additional investment. 

    2. Hire a developer

    If you feel that the limited template-based method of creating a Roku channel is insufficient  for your goals, you should strongly consider going the longer and more complex  but more sophisticated route. This means custom development, which implies creating a new channel from scratch with the help of skilled developers. Such a method is more expensive and will take more time but, in return, you will gain a great number of benefits which include:

    • A single exclusive user interface that users can access across different platforms
    • Different ways of presenting content, e.g. using such options as EPG view, recommendations carousels, etc
    • DRM encryption for better protection of your video content
    • Various monetization models are available to let viewers access content based on in-app purchases, long-term subscriptions, or single installation charges 
    • Authorized access for users to let them change preferences and add favorite videos to bookmarks 
    • The ability to integrate third-party analytics, e.g. Brightcove or Google Analytics

    Now let’s talk in more detail about the process. One big advantage is that developers can make use of Roku’s APIs, tools, and libraries for the effective creation of a new Roku channel. Unlike other platforms, Roku has its own exclusive programming language, BrightScript. You should take this into account when hiring a developer. This language has some similarities with JavaScript and Visual Basic, and some components are C-written, so it is fast and powerful. Additionally, a developer doesn’t need to have in-depth knowledge of C or Linux. However, the community of developers is not as big as other languages used for building iOs and Android apps. But BrightScript has its benefits. For instance, the code is executed at runtime, so the process of running and testing programs will be quicker. 

    This method is rather time-consuming because the whole process can take up to 6 months until your channel will see the world. Also, be prepared for some capital outlay depending on the level of expertise and the features you’d like your channel to possess. Don’t forget that when your new app goes live it will need maintenance, support, and hosting. These aspects also mean extra costs every month. If you are not ready for the financial outlay  and your budget is not that big, it is not necessarily the best  way for you to go. If you try to cut  spending, you might get an app of lower  quality with bugs possibly appearing from time to time. You will still have to pay someone to get those glitches fixed, which will also take extra time. If you don’t feel like dedicating so much time and money to your Roku channel, custom channel building from scratch might not be the right choice for you. However, there is a solution that will help you get an exclusive top-quality Roku app not exceeding your budget and meaning you won’t have to stress out about any issues. 

    3. Leverage CTV/OTT app development platform

    If you want to get an exclusive custom CTV channel by investing a smaller amount of capital  and with a reduced workload, you had better ask for expert assistance. One of the companies offering professional streaming channel creation services is VlogBox. Our team will not only build a channel for you but also take care of its optimization, monetization and promotion. VlogBox specialists have developed more than 750 channels on Roku in such popular categories as movies, education and entertainment, games, kids content as well as sports, cooking and blogging.   

    If you choose VlogBox for your new CTV channel creation, you will get your app published in only 2-3 weeks if you request custom development, and even faster if you choose a readymade template. What’s also great is that there is no extra effort required from you. You only need to provide top-quality content you create and then just wait for it to go live on your new Roku channel. All other work is done by the VlogBox team in the most professional  way.

    There are premade templates from which you can choose one that fits your preferences best, or you can request a custom design if you wish. Any idea will be implemented to create a unique eye-catching image for your upcoming  app. You also don’t need to worry about analytics and monetization issues as VlogBox provides easy-to-use tools and options for you to get detailed reports and analyze your channel performance, so you can get your revenue simply and transparently. As well as this,  VlogBox has a PR and marketing team that can help with your channel promotion, boosting its awareness and popularity among the relevant audiences.

    Ready-made template on the VlogBox platform

    Entrusting the whole process from your channel design and testing to its upload to an app store, promotion, and monetization to professionals is the most efficient and time-saving way of having your Roku app set up and launched. What is also great is that  you can always count on a dedicated personal manager’s support to get responses to all your questions and concerns any time you might need it. 

    Let’s sum up the benefits you get when you request the creation of a Roku channel at VlogBox compared to other methods:

    1. VlogBox has got you covered: we offer channel development with its promotion and monetization under one roof. Our experts will do all the work for your CTV presence, and all that is required from your side is exclusive content. 
    2. With a custom app created by VlogBox experts, you get full control over the analytics including the option to add analytics from third parties. It gives you valuable data for your campaign analysis and optimization.
    3. VlogBox guarantees you qualified support from a personal manager who will promptly  answer all your questions and help you cope with any issues that might arise or explain any aspect you want to know more about.

    VlogBox supports you at every step of the process and will have your channel set up and launched within a matter of weeks. Custom development from scratch is much more expensive and time-consuming  and after this  development you will have to cope with other issues such as maintenance, promotion, hosting, bug fixes, etc. Using VlogBox means you can fully immerse yourself in the process of content creation, focus on your business’s  main goals and avoid unnecessary stress  because the VlogBox team will do all the work for you.

    Conclusion

    Having a Roku channel is a must for those brands that want to boost awareness, increase reach by attracting new audiences and provide loyal viewers with another platform where they can enjoy your content. You will be able to offer access to your high-quality offerings to those customers who use Roku devices and discover new viewers who are in search of more channels with streaming content. 

    You can choose any method for building your brand new Roku app from the ones we have described above. Whichever system  you choose, you will get lots of benefits from launching your channel on the most popular and powerful platform that will help your brand obtain worldwide popularity and bring you extra revenue. The only difference is how much time and expense you are ready to dedicate to it. 

    If you want your efforts and investment to be expertly streamlined , we recommend you request professional assistance from VlogBox specialists. While the  professionals are  busy doing what they do best, you will be able to focus on high-quality content creation with no need to cope with any technical issues, search for developers or exceed your budget. 

    VlogBox is always here to take care of your custom channel creation and maintenance. We will easily integrate your content, do thorough testing and certification to make sure everything works well , upload your app to a store and provide timely support whenever necessary. Your business growth and success are the values that matter the most, and the VlogBox team is always ready to do its best to make your Roku channel work for you.