Roku is expanding its Roku TV licensing program into Europe, starting with the UK later this year. Hisense is launch partner.
Roku steps into Europe
Roku is a leading TV platform in the US but the company has a very limited presence in Europe. At IFA 2019, Roku CEO Anthony Wood announced that Roku is expanding into Europe starting with Roku TVs in the UK.
Hisense will launch the first Roku TVs (TVs running the Roku platform) in the UK in the fourth quarter of 2019. The Hisense models will feature 4K resolution and HDR support in sizes up to 65 inches. More details will be announced closer to launch.
- "We are pleased to bring the Roku TV licensing program to Europe and look forward to the first Hisense Roku TVs in market this year," said Anthony Wood, Roku CEO.
Roku is one of several TV platforms and in Europe it will face competition from Google's Android TV, Apple's tvOS, Samsung's Tizen, and LG's webOS. In Europe, some of Roku's current partners, including TCL, use Android TV.
At IFA, Amazon announced that it is also expanding its FireTV platform into Europe starting with the UK, Germany, and Austria.
At IFA, the Roku CEO invited TV manufacturers to embrace the Roku platform and predicted that "purpose built operating systems will win" as he compared the TV market to the markets for PCs and smartphones.
- "While consumers love Roku TV’s simplicity and advanced features, TV manufacturers benefit from the low cost of manufacturing, a variety of technology options, and support from Roku. The ability to quickly bring to market a leading smart TV experience that is regularly updated by Roku and is packed with entertainment gives TV manufacturers an edge in the competitive TV business," said Wood.
Today, more than 100 Roku TV models are available from over 10 brands in the US. In addition, Roku is selling streaming sticks and boxes. It is also operating a free ad-supported streaming service called 'The Roku Channel'.