Roku gets major investment from new partners Sky and News Corp.

Roku gets major investment from new partners Sky and News Corp.
Roku - now counts Sky as a partner

Sky and News Corp have entered into strategic relationships with Roku, announcing big investments in the streaming media player manufacturer.

Roku's media streamer has attracted a good deal of attention since its launch, with the US in particular taking to the device.

Roku also launched in the UK in February and, although it has yet to gain the kind of traction that it has managed across the Atlantic, that hasn't stopped it piquing Sky's interest.

Roku and rollu

The company has been seeking investment and the latest round has seen an influx of some $45 million (around £29m) from BSkyB, News Corp and venture investors Menlo Ventures and Globespan Capital Partners.

"We have watched Roku maintain market leadership since the launch of its streaming platform four years ago and we look forward to deepening our relationship, having already worked closely together on the launch of several products," said News Corporation chief digital officer Jon Miller.

"Roku's significant technology advantage, coupled with a strong market position, places them in a unique position to be an integral part of the television landscape for years to come."

Now opportunity

Sky's CFO Andrew Griffith praised Roku's innovation, and will use Roku to 'extend' its multi-platform offering.

"We're delighted to have entered into this strategic relationship with Roku. As an innovative content company we're committed to embracing a wide range of complementary platforms to create more choice and flexibility for customers," said Griffith.

"Coupled with the on-going strength of satellite distribution, online and mobile help us unlock even more value for customers. Working with Roku we look forward to extending our multi-platform leadership."

The move from Sky is particularly interesting given its steady evolution into a multiplatform content provider.

The launch of Sky's subscription-free Now TV has already been expected to land on Roku, which has gone head to head with Apple TV, and could give the British broadcaster opportunity to look to the US market.

Investment plans

So, what does Roku plan to do with the money? The company is now looking to increase brand awareness, branch out into new territories and increase engineering and production.

"Our philosophy is to give consumers the best streaming TV experience, with the most content and at the best value in the market; and it has served us well as millions of consumers have brought Roku into their homes," said Roku founder and chief executive officer Anthony Wood.

"With the News Corporation and Sky strategic relationships, we are poised to further grow our leadership position and to become the TV distribution platform of the future."

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.