As we head into 2023, streaming services and on-demand television continue to be some of the go-to entertainment options. Roku has been in position to enjoy the growth of that audience for a long time, but where it’s previously relegated its efforts to putting Roku streaming tech in third-party TVs, it plans to add a more direct approach in 2023. At CES 2023, Roku announced its own line of first-party manufactured smart TVs with the aim of better capitalizing on a growing streaming service audience that’s already in the tens of millions.
Roku CEO Anthony Wood shared details and reasoning for why the company is suddenly developing its own TVs in conversations with CNBC. Where Roku previously allowed third-party TV manufacturers like Hisense, TCL, Philips, and JVC to build its streaming technology in, Roku will now be competing with those partners more directly in the space. The company has unveiled 11 different smart TV models ranging from 24 to 75 inches, which will be available from $119 to $999 USD. Roku’s TVs are expected to be available for purchase in spring 2023.
The major reason for Roku’s increased interest in a hands-on approach to the TV space is the growing streaming service customer base. The company hopes to grow its consumer base beyond 70 million customers in 2023. Such as the case, Roku wants to be able to better capitalize on that growing audience as well with first-party products for its streaming service tech. Roku is also coming off of a rough year where its stock value fell 80 percent, which Wood attributes partially to a weakened advertisement industry.
“If you look at our overall ad business, obviously the industry is hurting right now,” Woods said. “Roku streaming hours were 87 billion hours of streaming last year. That was up 19% year over year. The world is moving to streaming. All TV is going to be streamed, that means all TV advertising is going to be streamed.”
Whether Roku can properly capitalize on interest in streaming services and the perceived ad opportunities therein, it looks like Roku smart TVs will be on shop websites and shelves in the months ahead. Stay tuned as we await further details and updates. Be sure to check out our other coverage from CES 2023 as well.