Roku made its name as one of the first companies to offer streaming media players, and it still makes some of the best available, but for the past two years, it has also been partnering with TV manufacturers to offer Roku-branded TVs. Teaming up with companies like Hisense, Insignia, Sharp, and TCL seems to have been a good idea for Roku, as the company announced January 3 that one out of every eight smart TVs sold in the U.S. runs on the Roku platform.
These branded TVs pair the manufacturers’ own display technology and features with built-in Roku functionality, offering buyers more than 450,000 movies and TV shows across 4,500 streaming channels. This has proved to be a popular model, with more than 100 different models of Roku TVs available across the North American market.
“Roku offers TV partners an incredibly easy, efficient, and cost-effective way to build smart TVs that consumers love,” Chas Smith, general manager for Roku TV & Players, said in a statement. “This spring, with the introduction of our new 4K HDR platform, we are looking forward to further expansion, giving us the ability to reach more partners and consumers.”
Despite the growth that Roku TVs have seen over the past two years, neither Roku nor its partner brands are resting on their laurels. Roku says that in 2017, it expects a 50 percent increase in models, resulting in more than 150 models available to customers throughout North America, with a larger-than-ever variety of price points and feature sets. The company has also signed with another partner, Element, which will introduce Roku TV models in 2017.
TCL, one of the first companies to offer Roku TV models, has also benefited from the partnership. In 2015, TCL was the ninth-largest seller of smart TVs in the U.S., but in 2016 it rose to become the sixth largest, which makes it the fastest-growing TV brand in the United States.
“We’ve seen tremendous success with the Roku TV program, and we’re very eager to continue its momentum into 2017,” Chris Larson, vice president of sales and marketing for North America at TCL, said. “Our TCL Roku TVs couple stylish design and leading technology with Roku’s wide selection of content, which has proved to be an award-winning combination, yielding record-breaking sales in 2016 to maintain our position as the fastest-growing TV brand in America. Consumers can expect us to expand our TV offerings in 2017, delivering televisions that feature larger screens and premium picture quality, while remaining focused on delivering unmatched value.”
We don’t have long to wait to see what Roku plans to offer in 2017, as new 4K HDR Roku TV models from the company will be on display along with models from other companies this week at CES in Las Vegas.