Roku is an online TV streaming platform that provides hardware so that customers can watch hundreds of shows. Most of Roku’s profits come from the sale of its media boxes.
Last year, Roku made over $1.7 billion. Roku’s profits came from a combination of sales, granting the license to the Roku OS to content creators, ads (as usual), and its Netlixesque subscription service. This was over a 58% increase in profit compared to their 2019 statistics.
With the pandemic boosting home-based activities such as watching and online entertainment, building a Roku app is profitable and easy. But how do you make one? Here are some key steps to Roku TV app development.
The Language Needed to Write an App
The Roku app runs on a variety of codes. It’s a combination of knowing the steps that include coding in web-based languages like HTML, building databases using XML files, and writing code to play the videos from their online source to the audience’s hardware.
Step 1: Write the Algorithm
It’s a standard amongst programmers that writing a neat program requires you to have a fundamental understanding of algorithm or logic pathways. It could be done on a piece of paper or on an online collaborative white space. You have to write the basics down of what a user does, what an app does, what choices the users could take, what process the app will allow the user to choose from, and how to implement it.
Step 2: Scrap the Algorithm
Yes, you read that right. What you’re making is a method for online videos to be transferred straight to audiences’ media boxes. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to do it. The first one is via a Roku SDK Developer, and the second is through the Roku Direct Publisher.
The main difference between the two is that one will require you to hire people who work for you. That’s Roku SDK Developer in a nutshell. On the other hand, Roku Direct Publisher is easy as it requires no prior experience in coding, but more on that later.
Making A Roku Channel via SDK Device
If you have a plan in mind for your Roku Channel, but you don’t have the technical know-how to implement it, this method will work best. First, you can hire third-party app developers so you can start delivering regular content to Roku audiences. Then, you simply have to outline your plan to the head of an SDK dev team.
For example, you can specify your channel to stream only animations, have a time frame, episode lengths, how frequently you can run ads, and so on. Of course, it requires some spending to make this successful, and the right SDK dev team can fulfill your dreams of having your own Roku channel.
On the other hand, if you wish to make a Roku app with your own team, it will be costlier as it requires coding experience and collaboration with various programmers and software specialists. It’s not a very good way to implement a Roku app, at least from a business standpoint.
Hiring an individual for Roku channel development will cost anywhere from $20 to $400+, and they usually charge an hourly rate. You can do some research before hiring individual Roku developers, or if you settle with just one person, then expect it to be put up a little longer. Roku channels take some time to set up, ranging anytime from 3 to 6 months.
Making A Roku Channel via Roku Direct Publisher
Of course, Roku wants its business to succeed, and what better way to do this is by enabling Roku content creators to publish directly via their own Roku platform. This method is more straightforward since you don’t need to have experience in coding.
It’s not as customizable as hiring a dedicated SDK Dev team, but at least you’ll get the channel up and running sooner.
The first step in making a Roku channel via the Direct Publisher is uploading content to a video hosting website or server. This can range anywhere from YouTube to other cloud storage servers. You could, in theory, use Google Drive or Dropbox in uploading videos. Whatever the video hosting website is, it must be secure as you don’t want your viewers to have a negative viewing experience.
The second step is making a feed. It’s basically a list that contains information about the videos. The items on this list should allow flexibility or sorting, which will be necessary for later use. The list includes metadata on the videos like title, length of the video, date it was uploaded, dates the videos were published, et cetera.
The last few steps involve signing up with Roku’s official website. The Roku Direct Publisher specifies what to follow, so it is more straightforward than the SDK Dev method. After signing up with Roku’s website, you will be asked to sign up as a developer. The last step is on the audience, with them viewing your channel. Of course, you can also test this out to see if changes are needed on the feed.
SDK Dev Team vs Roku’s Direct Publisher Tool
Each of these methods has its own advantages and disadvantages. Roku’s Direct Publisher doesn’t require you to invest tons of cash in starting your own channel on a fiscal aspect.
SDK dev team, on the other hand, demands payment, sometimes upfront, to help you complete your project. If you’re not well-versed in programming or coding languages, then you also might get scammed. However, hiring SDK dev team allows for a more customized approach to your channel.