What you need to know
- Roku is reportedly planning to expand into the connected home market.
- Along with developing its own smart home products, the company is also looking to partner with existing smart home brands.
- Former Amazon executive Damir Skripic recently joined Roku as the Director of Product Management, Home Technologies.
Streaming device maker Roku is looking to foray into the highly competitive connected home market, according to a report from Protocol.
Roku had published a job listing for a "Director of Product Management, Home Technologies" earlier this year. While the listing has since been removed, it all but confirmed the company's plans of expanding into smart home technologies. The job description made it clear that applicants would have to "develop home technology product strategy" and "develop the company's product roadmap," among other responsibilities.
The listing also hinted that Roku's expansion plan involves both new products developed in-house and partnerships with existing smart home companies. "The Director of Product Management, Home Technologies, will own the strategy and execution of products and features that connect Roku with home ecosystems more deeply," Roku wrote in the job listing.
The role was filled earlier this month by Damir Skripic (opens in new tab), who worked for over two years at Amazon and spent close to two years at TP-Link's Kasa Smart Home business unit. Roku is now looking for a senior business development manager to help forge partnerships with leading smart home hardware makers. According to a recently published job listing (opens in new tab), the applicant will be "responsible for vetting new partners & developing partnerships to connect Roku with home ecosystems more deeply."
As noted by Protocol, Roku makes very little money from its device business currently. The business unit made just $43.2 million in gross profit last year. Roku's advertising business, on the other hand, generated $764.6 million in gross profit during the same period. Since rival TV platforms from Google and Amazon offer support for smart home devices such as the best security cameras, it is essential for Roku to invest in IoT-driven technologies to ensure that its advertising business continues growing.
We reached out to Roku and received the following comment:
If in the market for a smart home device I would buy this before a Google/Amazon product.
Why? Wouldn't you end up using one of the available assistants for Google or Amazon anyway?
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