Updated channel package upload requirements

Roku has recently made updates to our channel package upload requirements. In order to upload a channel package through the developer dashboard, a developer must now:

  1. use a verified email address,
  2. have at least one Roku device linked to their account, and
  3. have a payment method on file.

If an account does not meet all of these requirements, the developer will be blocked from uploading a new package until they’ve updated their account accordingly.

Channels that have already launched on our platform will not be affected by this change in policy. However, developers will not be able to upload packages for new channels without modifying their account to meet the new requirements, if necessary.

We appreciate your continued support on our platform!

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2017 publishing blackout dates

Every year, Roku shuts down our certification process in observance of year-end holidays. Channels submitted during these “blackout” periods will not be published until the conclusion of the blackout. Rather, they will be differed and queued for review on a “first-come, first-served” basis in the order they were submitted. Once the blackout ends, the queue will be addressed as quickly as possible, although it may take a few additional days before a channel is published based on its position in the queue.

This year, we will not be publishing any new channels or channel updates during the following time frames:

  • Monday, November 20 — Sunday, November 26, 2017: No channels published
  • Friday, December 15, — Wednesday, January 3, 2018: No channels published

Please consider these blackout dates when planning all channel development, promotion, and communications. Roku advises submitting a channel well in advance of the beginning of a blackout period, in order to account for the possibility of failing certification. Developers should allocate time to resolve any issues that might arise during certification in order to make sure they can resubmit before the blackout begins.

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Announcement: Planned temporary service outage

We are migrating to new and more scalable servers to accommodate more Roku customers and partners. This migration will take place on August 23, 2017 from 5:00am to 11:00am PT.

While consumers can stream their favorite channels during this time, other services such as activating new Roku devices, accessing the Roku Channel Store, and making select streaming purchases through Roku Billing will not be available during the maintenance window.

We appreciate your patience and support as we make these improvements to scale the Roku platform.

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Developer highlights for Roku OS 7.7

Roku OS 7.7

Our Summer firmware update, Roku OS 7.7, starts shipping to select Roku devices today. Roku OS 7.7 focuses primarily on bug fixes and firmware optimizations to increase performance of Roku SceneGraph (RSG) channels.

How to update

All current-generation Roku streaming players and Roku TV models will update to Roku OS 7.7 over the next few weeks. The firmware will roll out in phases, and is expected to reach all eligible Roku devices by the end of August. Continue reading

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Reminder: Deadline approaching for new channels to use RSG

In February, Roku announced the deprecation of our legacy SDK visual screen components, with a two-year roadmap for adopting a channel UI built in Roku SceneGraph (RSG). Developers should be mindful that the first major deadline in the deprecation timeline is approaching.

As of July 1st, the UI for all new channels submitting for publication will need to be powered by RSG or Direct Publisher. Channels submitted before this date that fail their initial certification attempt will be granted a grace period to correct the items they failed on without being penalized.

To review the full deprecation timeline and complete list of deprecated components, read our original blog announcement.

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Developer roadmap: SceneGraph visual screen components

Preview of the episodic picker component


In January, we announced our plans to sunset the legacy BrightScript visual screen components, meaning all Roku channels will need to use Roku SceneGraph (RSG) for their UI by January 1st, 2019. After this date, the legacy components will be removed from the firmware and channels using these old visual screens will cease to function.

For some publishers, development work may be required to transition their channels from the legacy visual screens to RSG. To simplify these transitional efforts, we’ve been building a handful of SceneGraph visual screen components that will be available in the SDK as a common library. Continue reading

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Direct Publisher monetization guide

Screenshot of the ad loading page


Hundreds of Roku channels have launched using our Direct Publisher tool.

In this tutorial, we explain the monetization options for Direct Publisher channels, and how to optimize your channel for greater revenue.


Monetization options

Currently, Direct Publisher only supports ad monetization. There are two ad options for a channel:

  1. Participation in the Roku Audience Network (Revenue share)
  2. Using a custom ad server (Ad inventory split)

Continue reading

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Developer highlights for Roku OS 7.6

Roku OS 7.6

Roku OS 7.6 begins rolling out to Roku devices today. With this latest firmware update, we’ve introduced new developer tools and APIs to increase channel performance and improve the end-user experience. Continue reading

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New features added to Direct Publisher


Since it’s introduction in October, hundreds of Roku channels have launched using Direct Publisher. Recently, we’ve added several features to the tool’s capabilities, including:

Continue reading

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Introducing RAF 2.0: Native RAF integration for SceneGraph

 Roku Developers


Since 2015, Roku developers have been able to incorporate relevant, targeted video ads into their channels with just a few lines of code by leveraging the Roku Ad Framework (RAF). Now, with the introduction of RAF 2.0, publishers can take further advantage of this feature-rich library by integrating RAF natively into Roku SceneGraph (RSG) channels.

Prior to RAF 2.0, SceneGraph channels had to invoke RAF from the application’s main thread. The library would then temporarily suspend RSG to render the ads using SDK1 components and resume the RSG rendering afterwards. While this is still possible, the new version includes a native RSG implementations for both video and UI ad content. Now RAF can integrate and work within the current scene without suspending RSG. The ad play control should be delegated to a Task execution thread, since the render thread cannot be blocked. Continue reading

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