Roku wants to expand beyond its own devices.
The company is considering streaming videos on devices made by third-party manufacturers, such as Apple and Google, according to Variety. However, Roku’s first attempt at streaming on third-party devices will likely focus mobile devices. The move would allow Roku to transition from a hardware-revenue-based firm to services-based. So, what does this eventually mean for consumers?
You will be able to stream content from Roku on devices that don’t run Roku's operating system. One key component of this strategy involves the company’s existing mobile app, which currently can't be operated if there is not a Roku device available on the same Wi-fi network. Going forward, Roku might allow video playback directly from its mobile app, via an integration with Roku Channel.
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That's an ad-supported channel the company launched last month. The Roku Channel currently offers free, ad-supported access to several movies from major studios, such as Sony Pictures, as well as smaller publishers, like OVGuide. However, Roku has recently asked them for the rights to stream their titles on mobile devices. In other words, Roku's app will be more than a remote replacement.
You could use it to watch programming when away from home. Roku's mobile app is therefore headed toward a major expansion, if true. Variety said the app has been downloaded more than 10 million times on Android alone. In our opinion, this move seems smart; expanding its video services to other products, including mobile devices, would help the company should its hardware ever flop.