According to a new source familiar with a focus group, Roku may be exploring the idea of manufacturing its own smart TVs, which could run the Roku service to stream online media. Roku currently licenses its operating system to a wide variety of TV brands that sell them with the Roku branding.
Business Insider says that Roku might be developing its own smart TV. A source familiar with a focus group said that “They showed different models, feature sets and names, sizes, price points”, the person told Insider. A Roku spokeswoman said that the company doesn’t comment on rumors and speculation, which is hardly surprising.
It appears that Roku might want to spin off its own TVs under its own branding, which could help it reach more customers, and gain more paying subscribers. The idea isn’t new, and even Amazon recently started selling its own TVs, and it remains to be seen if the likes of Netflix will ever consider making a TV that people could buy.
Another person familiar with Roku’s strategy and timeline said that the company had the TV manufacturing on its roadmap for more than a year, and that “The analysis has been done. They recognized that owning the last bit of branding made a lot of sense, particularly if you are going into content,” said the executive.
It’s worth pointing out that Roku is the number one smart TV operating system in the US, according to NPD data for 2020 and 2021. With the increasing demand for more affordable smart TVs, it makes perfect sense for Roku to invest and eventually create its own TV lineup of affordable, and perhaps, premium smart TVs that people could purchase and choose from. Roku could also license TVs from companies such as Sony, Samsung, LG, to name a few, and borrow the internal and external design to speed up its development process.