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How to Make a Roku Channel

The popular OTT streaming device Roku recently revealed some impressive numbers for mid-year 2022, boasting a total of 63.1 million monthly active users in the United States. This figure, according to Statistica, is the company’s highest monthly active user total of all time, and this number continues to climb each quarter, more than doubling over the last three years.

If those figures aren’t enough to get you thinking about how to get your own Roku channel, maybe the money will speak to you. Roku reported $764 million in revenue last quarter, boasting an impressive 18% year over year growth. What’s more, the total hours streamed on Roku in the United States hit a record of approximately 20.7 billion in the second quarter of 2022.

If you’re a content business owner or creator, we’d wager you’re definitely wondering about how to create a Roku channel for yourself now!

While conceptualizing and launching a Roku app is no easy task, it could very well be worth the investment. Here’s what you need to know about creating your own OTT channel with Roku.

What is Roku, and how does it work?

Roku is a company that makes streaming devices that allow you to stream media content from various providers and channels (think Netflix, HBO Max, Prime Video, and the like) on your TV. In addition to streaming players, the brand also sells smart TVs, sound bars, and other accessories to round out your streaming experience.

Fun Fact: Roku means “six” in Japanese, as the company happens to be the sixth business launched by founder Anthony Wood.

Roku works by connecting to your internet via a wireless or wired connection to provide access to streaming services and channels. It’s a great option for those who don’t own a smart TV and want access to a variety of different content without the cost of cable. Roku was also one of the first platforms to open itself for independent developers to launch their own channels on a mainstream connected TV device. Roku remains the #1 OTT platform for independent developers and content owners.

Why You Should Create A Roku Channel

Developing a branded Roku app is like creating your own TV channel or having your own Roku TV show. Consider Roku apps similar to traditional TV channels, but even better; your audience can access your content from their televisions, and users flipping through the channels (or apps) or searching for specific categories may stumble across your content too!

  • Access to new audience members.

You’ll have access to Roku’s 63.1 million active users when you create your own Roku channel. Some of these users may never discover your content before they see it in the Roku app store, or it is recommended when searching for other content from their favorite OTT content providers like Netflix or HBO! A Roku app will allow you to reach even more people.

  • Improved accessibility to your audience. 

Creating your own TV channel on Roku gives your audience one more convenient place to access your content–in their home, from the sofa, on their own time. Not only do they have access to your content on demand, but they can also view it on their television screens, which improves the quality of the experience. Now viewers can watch your content just like they would watch a new movie release on movie night!

  • Generate additional revenue.

Ad spending on streaming devices is increasing. Roku secured more than $1 billion in advertising commitments for the 2022-2023 TV years, taking ad spend away from traditional cable TV. Not only are more brands flocking to place ads on streaming services, but creating your own app will allow you to monetize in new ways with subscription services and pay-per-view transactions for your viewers. In addition, Roku makes it easy for users to purchase content or subscriptions using their Roku accounts with their in-app purchase option for all apps published through the Roku channel store.

OTT App Comparsion

If you’re wondering how to create a Roku channel, you may be interested in learning about creating OTT apps for other streaming devices, such as Apple TV, Samsung TV, or Fire TV. Each streaming software has different app requirements, so developing one OTT app isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. Using audience analytics and viewership data, you may be able to identify which OTT app would be most helpful for your viewers.

While many brands and creators choose to develop custom OTT apps for all the top streaming devices, a side-by-side comparison can help you prioritize which channel to develop first.

Roku

Apple TV

Fire TV (Amazon)

Samsung TV

Android TV

23.1% global share

3.6% global share

iOS has more share in the United States

12.1% global share

10.4% global share

5.9% global share

Android has more users worldwide

Device can be used with any TV

Device can be used with any TV

Device can be used with any TV

Technology installed on smart Samsung TVs

Technology installed on smart Android TVs

$

 Add-on devices range from $25-$50

$$$

Add-on devices range from $150-$300

$$

Add-on devices range from $30-$55

$$$$

Require purchase of television

$$$$

Require purchase of television

*Global share figures – Coviva’s State of Streaming Q2 2022

How to Get Your Own Roku Channel: Your Step-by-Step Guide

Now, let’s get to the good part: how to create a Roku channel that can help grow your brand, reach new audiences, and generate revenue. As an open platform, anyone can create a Roku channel so long as it meets the company’s new channel requirements:

  • Original and/or licensed video content.
  • A place to host your content on the web (for example, an OVP, CDN, and so on).
  • A feed, which brings your content onto the Roku platform.

So, how do you get started? Roku affords you two options: through the use of their Direct Publisher or by way of custom development.

The Direct Developer route is the fastest way to get your content up and running on Roku, but limits user experience. Here’s how it works according to the company:

1

Set Up

Set up your Roku customer, developer, and billing accounts. This is free to do.
2

Ensure Contents

Ensure that your content is in a Roku-supported file format such as DASH, HLS, SMOOTH, or M4V, MOV, or MP4. If needed, you can use a video converter to convert your unencrypted media files to a supported format.
3

Upload

Upload all content files to a video hosting platform — like Endavo.
4

Create Your Feed

It should encompass basic information for each piece of content, including the unique ID, title, description, and category, the URL where the video is hosted, and its thumbnail image.
5

Branding

Prepare your branding assets such as the logo and splash screen.
6

Create

Finally, you’re ready to log into the Roku Developer Dashboard to create your channel.

Should you desire a more customized channel with your own unique features, custom development is the way to go. If you’re unfamiliar with how to make a Roku channel, your best bet is to bring in the professionals to create your channel using Roku’s SDK Developer tool. Here’s how a company like Endavo can help:

How to Create a Roku Channel with Endavo’s Roku Channel Developers

If you’re unfamiliar with how to create a Roku channel, your best bet is to bring in the professionals to create your channel using Roku’s SDK Developer tool. Here’s how a company like Endavo can help:

Step 1: Talk to the expert Roku channel developers at Endavo.

Endavo’s Video Distribution Automation (VDA) platform allows for a customized experience when it comes to the aggregation, packaging, and distribution of content. With the power of our integrated platform to aggregate channels and distribute to other platforms, we can get your videos on Roku in no time — not to mention other platforms, such as Apple TV.

Step 2: Create your channel with Endavo’s channel developers.

We’ll help you upload your unique content and build your channel(s). Then, we’ll help you manage those content channels, bringing it all together with a curated experience for your viewers.

Step 3: Monetize with Endavo.

Do you know how to make money with a Roku channel? By monetizing your content with Endavo! We can help you generate revenue by creating ad-supported channels or subscription-style channels.

If you’ve always dreamed of seeing your content on a platform like Roku, now you’re in the know. Contact Endavo today to learn more about how to make a Roku channel that’s personalized, on-brand, and monetized.

Benefits of Using Endavo’s Roku Channel Developers

When you create your own app with Endavo’s Roku channel developers, you avoid taking on the time-consuming and complicated process of designing, developing, ideating, branding, and ongoing maintenance of your Roku channel. Endavo does it all for you, and it’s included in your monthly membership fee.

  • We build your fully-branded, customized OTT app completely. You can personalize the app to meet your branding standards and specifications, but you leave the coding and development to our expert team of Roku channel developers. If you’ve got ideas to improve the viewer experience, we’ll bring them to life, so you can focus on doing what you do best: creating content.
  • We launch your OTT app and do the heavy lifting to get your content  ready to be delivered through Roku. You won’t need to learn complicated code or hire additional developers to take your personalized OTT app live. Our Roku channel developers work behind the scenes to launch your app to the public.
  • We maintain your OTT channel to ensure it’s up-to-date. All you have to do is upload your videos to Endavo and schedule your live events or channel. Keep your focus on creating content and managing your Endavo channel, and we’ll handle your personalized OTT apps’ aggregation, packaging, and distribution.

If you want a first-hand look at all of the features, Endavo has to offer to brands and content creators, sign up for a free trial offer to use our platform for 30 days with no fees and risks involved.

FAQs About Creating Your Own TV Channel on Roku

Can I create my own Roku channel?

Yes, you can create your own Roku channel! Anyone that meets these minimum requirements (established by Roku) can make a channel:

  • Original and/or licensed video content.
  • A place to host your content on the web (for example, an OVP, CDN, and so on).
  • A feed, which brings your content onto the Roku platform.

How do I create a Roku channel?
You can create your Roku channel in three ways:

  1. DIY your Roku app (difficult)
  2. Hire a developer (expensive)
  3. Use an OTT service provider–like Endavo! (easy and cheap!)

How much does it cost to get a Roku channel?

The cost to develop a Roku channel varies depending on the process you choose to develop your channel. For example, it costs nothing to set up a Roku Direct Publisher account, but to publish videos onto the platform, you’ll need a hosting platform, a content feed, and CDNs.

These costs, plus the developer fees (should you hire Roku channel developers), may cost anywhere between $100 to $20,000+. But with Endavo, you’ll pay an affordable monthly fee that includes everything: your channel hub, video hosting, video distribution, monetization tools, reporting and analytics, and our Roku channel developer services.

If you’ve always dreamed of seeing your content on a platform like Roku, now you’re in the know. Contact Endavo today to learn more about how to get your own Roku channel that’s personalized, on-brand, and monetized.