Roku has sent out a notice to their developers noting upcoming changes to the developer agreement. It looks on the surface as if Roku is pushing more to be a revenue sharer with channel publishers much like Google and Apple are with their app publishers. The full text is below:
Dear Roku Developer:
Thank you for choosing the Roku platform. With support from developers like you, Roku continues to offer consumers the broadest selection of content for streaming to the TV. We also continue to invest in the scale and reach of the platform resulting in more consumer engagement than ever before. In 2014, Roku streamed over 3 billion hours of content, up 72% from the prior year, and ended the year with about 7 million monthly active accounts.
We’re writing to let you know about changes coming soon to the Roku Developer Agreement.
Starting later this month, we will replace our current developer agreement with two different agreements. The first is the new SDK License Agreement, which allows developers to use our Software Development Kit (SDK) to build and test a Roku channel. The second is the new Application Distribution Agreement, which allows developers to publish a channel on the Roku platform. 90 days before the expiration of your current Developer Agreement, you will receive a notice requesting that you read and execute the new Application Distribution Agreement.
The key changes include:
• Paid channels (subscription, transactional, and pay-to-install) that are in the Roku Channel Store must support Roku Billing Services. This will simplify the sign-up process for consumers and help you build your audience more quickly. There will be a revenue share distribution where we remit 80% back to you monthly. For existing channels that already use the Roku billing API, we’ve lowered the revenue share from 30% to 20%!
• Ad-supported channels that are in the Roku Channel Store may be asked by Roku to provide up to 30% of video ad inventory that we may sell on our behalf. Note that Roku will not typically exercise this option for channels with a small audience.
These changes will be live on Roku’s developer site, developer.roku.com, in late September. You can read more about the changes here. Please review both the SDK License agreement and the Application Distribution agreement for more details. We’ve also created a FAQ. And of course, let us know if you have any questions.
What do you think, is this a necessary change for Roku?