Five Ways to Generate Revenue with Your Content and a Roku Channel — and One Really Cool Thing We’re Working On!

With well over half the market share for connected TV devices, Roku is leading the pack, not just in viewers but in opportunities for content creators, studios, brands, and entrepreneurs to earn revenue with their own Roku TV Channels.

For the content creator, YouTuber, film or TV studio, a Roku chanel is a great way to maximize the revenue potential of content you’ve already created and are distributing elsewhere.

For the brand, a Roku Channel is a great way to maximize brand awareness and build loyalty using content (what I like to call, “brandvertainment”) that’s both compelling and brand-driven.

For the entrepreneur, a Roku channel is a great way to promote your existing business, build credibility, and ultimately drive sales, or it’s a great business opportunity in and of itself.

Here are five ways you can earn money with a Roku TV Channel:

  1. Streaming Advertising. The biggest way Roku channels earn money is through streaming advertising — that is, TV commercials. Streaming ads are provided by third-party ad agencies who pay per-ad-view. This can be as little as 1/2-cent to as much as 2 or 3 cents per ad view; and those pennies add up fast.
  2. Performance-Based Advertising. Another great way for Roku channels to make money is through the use of Per Inquiry Advertising. These are also TV commercials, but instead of being paid per view, you are paid per lead, order, or inquiry, based on custom telephone numbers or coupon codes that are unique to your channel and tracked by their providers.
  3. Subscription-Based Content. (Also known as SVOD). Not my favorite way to earn money with a Roku channel as it involves charging people for your content. Since most viewers turn to Roku to save money, and most are already paying for Internet and Netflix and Hulu, asking them for another $5 a month for your content is tough. It must be uber-compelling content for them to want to do that. In addition, Roku takes a 30% cut of it.
  4. Self-vertising. (I just made that word up.) In this case, you’re adding your own TV commercials into the mix — promoting your own products and services amidst your own content. This in effect turns your entire channel into one big infomercial, however, adding in the streaming and performance-based ads above will help dilute the appearance of that. In fact, the major brand advertisers provided by the streaming ads will put your own ads in good company, and help add more air of credibility to you.
  5. QR codes. As boring and ugly as they may be, QR codes can be used on-screen to integrate linking and ecommerce capabilities. Roku technology is not yet to the point where it has integrated shopping or ecommerce capabilities, and who knows if it ever will. For now, QR codes work to move the transaction off the screen and on to a device. (Yes, people still use them.)

What you have to look forward to…

Right now, my company, Mediarazzi, is developing technology that incorporates image recognition to move transactions off the screen to mobile devices. Rather than an ugly QR code, with this technology your smart phone will recognize a web URL, product image or book cover, for instance, and with one-click, it will open your phone’s browser and take you to that link or product on the web. It can be used to integrate Augmented Reality, or it can be used together with affiliate programs and shopping carts to create even more potential revenue streams for content creators, TV and film studios, brands and entrepreneurs alike.

Phil Autelitano is founder and CEO of Mediarazzi. We develop TV channels and technology for Roku and Connected TV platforms.