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Roku Channel Development Cost

The Truth About Roku Channel Development Costs

If you have been shopping around for Roku channel development, you have doubtless run into a wide variety development costs and expenses. This article breaks down the "real cost" of developing and maintaining a Roku channel.

How much should I pay for initial channel development?

A simple Roku Direct Publisher channel starts at $1,500 and can play free videos or videos with ads. This is the best for for companies or organizations who only want to show free videos or videos that include advertising.

If your channel is paid channel based on monthly or yearly subscriptions, your costs will start at $3,500 and go up based on complexity. This price should get you a basic Roku SDK channel that allows your users to pay for a subscription, browse and play your videos. Direct Pubisher channels (mentioned above) are not able to be paid channels. This is currently a Roku policy. Therefore any channel that wants to charge users subscription fees has to be a custom programmed channel. Because of Roku's rigorous approval process for custom channels, these type of channels require more time and cost to implement.

For those who want "on demand" content in their channels, the cost will be higher due to the complexity of this feature. Plan to spend several more thousand dollars, to add on demand content to your channel. This process involves rigorous testing and interactiion with Roku company employees who test your channel strenously. Roku policies for approving custom channels with special features are always being updated. So this process is time consuming due to the detailed testing and approval process at Roku.

Corporate and mid-sized small business customers should expect slightly higher development costs. These costs are due to the increased availability and additional features that are often needed for higher end projects.

We actually offer our customers a combination package that includes fully-branded Roku, iPad / iPhone and Android channels. Contact us to learn more.

Should I expect to pay any monthly fees?

Yes. You will need to pay a monthly fee to have your videos hosted and streamed. Also, if is good to use simple channel management software that allows you to easily maintain and update your Roku channel. For instance our personal, small business package starts at $24.95 per month and allows you to update and maintain the videos in your channel directly.

What should I expect to pay for hosting my videos?

We recommend that small, personal l business owners use Vimeo Pro for video hosting. This only costs a flat $240 per year. There are no extra charges for video bandwidth or the number of videos hosted. This is the best value.

Medium range corporate customers can effectively host videos on Vimeo or a Amazon. Amazon video playback is good and is far less expensive the other hosting options if Vimeo is not an option.

High performance corporate customers should use a provider like Akamai. While companies such as Akamai, provide excellent performance, we do not recommend this type of service for the average customers since the costs are high and become prohibitive.

Beware of Roku developers who offer no set-up costs or unbelieveably low monthly fees

Read the fine print! If a Roku developer or channel service does not charge a set-up cost you are about to get fleeced.

Most no-setup cost channel developers, require your channel to run their ads during every video your viewers watch. They make money on the ads and you make nothing. The constant advertising cheapens your channel and often drives viewers away.

Other no-setup cost developers limit the number of videos you can have on your channel. Often the low cost channels are not even branded with your logo, but rather with the developers logo. The channels are simply "quick and dirty" cookie cutter channels that disappoint. Read our article "About Roku App Development" to learn more about developing a Roku app.

Does the Roku company itself have a channel set-up fee or charge a monthly cost to keep your channel on their system?

No. Roku does not charge for creating a channel. Neither does the company charge a monthly fee for displaying your channel on their system.

Please contact us for a "no obligation" consultation on your Roku development needs. We are friendly and happy to help with your project.

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