What have we built?
We have built and released a dedicated Player SDK for Roku. This solution is designed to enable developers to be able to work with Roku devices without needing deep technical knowledge of the Roku playback setup and removing the need for heavy lift development efforts in building out functionality for Roku devices.
What are the Challenges and Why have we built/released this?
Roku has become an essential platform for OTT companies to be on as it’s viewership has grown rapidly, with monthly active users almost doubling from 30.5 million in Q2 2019 to 63 million Q2 2022 (source: Statista, Nov 2022).
However, Roku uses its own dedicated technology for playback and this presents a few interesting challenges; we had a number of questions when defining the problem and designing how we planned to address the challenges.
To start with, “do you have a dedicated in-house resource that specializes in the Roku setup and ecosystem?” Generally speaking, we’ve found that for most, it is a challenge when attempting to transfer over commonalities and the experience from other environments you’re deployed on. In addition to this, some would argue that the Roku ecosystem has its own specific set of difficulties that require a significant level of depth and understanding of the Roku setup. A perfect example of this is their use of their own proprietary coding language called ‘BrightScript’.
This brings on question number 2, “have you had trouble in finding developers with deep technical expertise and experience with the Roku setup and ecosystem?” As this type of experience is not easily found, what we do know is that any advancements to support Roku developers are always very positively received.
We’re making it as simple and easy as possible to get started, here’s how…
If you are already utilizing Bitmovin’s Player SDKs, you may already know that you won’t need to learn or create new Bitmovin Player configuration formats for each new device, as you’ll be able to easily migrate and reuse the configs from your existing deployments.
The additional questions we look to answer with our dedicated Roku SDK include the following:
- “How easy has it been for you to integrate with Roku Advertising Development?”
- “Have you been able to seamlessly get started and monetize your inventory, measure accurately and optimize quickly, at scale and without heavy lifting?“
To sum up the answer to both questions, our Roku SDK extends to the Roku Advertising Framework (RAF) and our Bitmovin Player is able to handle the workload required in making your deployment RAF compliant, leaving your development team with more time to work on other product-defining components. By bundling in additional features like metadata handling and 3rd party SDKs, like Google’s IMA SDK for Dynamic Ad Insertion, we’re saving more developer time and resources who otherwise would have needed to custom-build any required features on top of the native player.
For the next iterations of our Roku SDK, the following have been planned:
- Additional advertising capabilities, including SSAI functionality,
- The ability to stream live
- Low Latency functionality
How to get started?
The best way to get started today is to jump into the Player Dashboard and sign up for a trial. In the dashboard, you’ll be able to find all of the developer resources, API guides, tutorials and more. If you’re already using one of Bitmovin Player SDKs and looking to expand to utilizing the Bitmovin Roku SDK, you will find the unified developer experience of Bitmovin’s player means developers are not needing to re-learn how to configure the player in a new way for each device and can transfer knowledge and configurations from existing players.