How to Create Your Own Roku Channel

Last Updated on April 12, 2022 by Mark Roberts

Wondering about how to create your very own Roku channel? In this article, we are going to explain three different methods through which you can set up your own Roku channel.

You can choose between leasing an existing Roku channel, going through Roku Direct Publishing, or using the Roku SDK Developer. No matter which method you choose, we will help you completely.

In addition to creating your own Roku channel, we will also teach you how to monetize it so you can earn money from the channel. If you are curious to learn more, keep reading this article.

Can you make your own Roku Channel?


Yes, you can create your own Roku channel and publish your content, either publicly or privately. Roku gives you the opportunity to create content as well as gather an audience.

To create your channel on Roku, you can either lease a channel, make use of Roku Direct Publisher, or recruit the help of a Roku developer.

Well, they are platforms like Jooble from which you can search for Roku developer jobs, who can build your Roku channel from the scratch.

Why Should You Create A Roku Channel?


If you are interested in launching your own content-creating channel, then you can definitely start with OTT services, because they offer more exposure to a larger audience. This in turn generates a lot of revenue for you than using other services.

Within the OTT industry, the Roku platform is a great place to start. This is because 30% of the worldwide streaming time is occupied by Roku. With such a large audience, you have the chance to reach so many more people and entertain them, as well as receive much more money than other OTT services.

Roku allows your content to be viewed by viewers who are both existing and ones that might like you. You can reach those who have a Roku device already and allow them to experience your content. Additionally, those without the Roku device, but with smart TVs can explore your content and follow you.

If you create a Roku channel, you are guaranteed high customer satisfaction and convenience. Roku makes it easier for you to increase your customer referrals. Price hikes in the future may also be easier to understand from the customers’ points of view, because of their positive experience with your channel and content. Both you and your viewers will not face any issues with your content if you decide to start a channel with Roku.

How much does it cost to create a Roku Channel?


The cost of making a Roku channel heavily depends on the method that you used to create the channel. If you use Roku Direct Publisher, then you will have to pay up to $1000, for content feed, hosting, and CDNs.

If you hire a Roku developer to build your Roku channel, then it can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000. What’s more! You might only get your Roku channel after at least 6 months.

Whereas, if you lease a Roku channel, then you will have to pay a lump sum that is much smaller than the previous two methods. You can even pay the amount over a month.

How To Create A Roku Channel (With No Coding Knowledge!)


As we will see now, you can use any one of the three methods that we are going to explain. The first method involves leasing a Roku channel.

The second method makes use of the Roku Direct publisher, and the last method requires you to hire a Roku developer to build your channel.

Based on the cost, the duration, and the easiness of each method, you can choose the one that is suitable for you and your video business. 

Method #1 Lease a Roku channel

First, let us look at leasing Roku channels. If you feel like you are not up for the struggle that comes with building your own channel, you have the option to lease one from an OTT service provider.

This will allow you to give all your attention to your video content, and focus on your customers.

When you lease a Roku app or channel, another person will be in charge of the technicalities of your channel. They will take care of installing improved features and providing updates for your channel.

Not only is it less stressful for you as a content creator, but it also saves you a whole lot of money. Hiring developers can be extremely expensive, so you can definitely lease a Roku channel if you are on a budget.

If you are a content creator and wish to publish your videos on devices such as Roku Smart TVs and other Roku devices, then you can pick an OTT service like Uscreen, and share your business information and assets with them.

Then, you will receive a whole Roku channel that will not only host you but also share your content with all the viewers.

However, you will have to wait for at least 6 months before you can get your own Roku channel because the OTT service needs a certain period of time to set up your channel.

If you are looking to rent a Roku app or channel from an OTT service, you need to request a few things from them. You should be getting a customizable website that can stream your videos and other content.

Also, you have to request global modes of payment and purchases within the website or app such as Android Pay or Apple Pay. Your channel should also have a live streaming feature. Make sure that all your content and data are safe and secure.

Additionally, ensure that you will not have to take care of the technical aspect of your channel. You can also ask for tools that will assist you in marketing your channel and having full control of your audience and reach.

These are just some of the features that you can ask for, and there are so many more.

Method #2 Roku Direct Publishing

Roku has a service of its own that is known as Roku Direct Publishing or Direct Publisher. This service will help you create and develop your own channel.

You have to start by creating accounts for Roku billing, customer, and a Roku developer account. Next, you will have to sign in to your Roku developer dashboard.

Here, you have the option to navigate to the Manage My Channel tab, under which you can make a new Roku channel.

You will then have to go through more screens where you will have to input essential information such as your account name, content feed, content type, layout, and marketing.

Once you are done with these pages, you can confirm and get on with the hard part. You need to do three crucial things before you can publish your custom Roku channel using the Roku Direct Publisher method. Here they are.

Step 1: Set up a Content Hosting Solution

You need to first set up a third-party server called a Content Delivery Network (CDN). This server will store all your content and share them with your customers and viewers through the channel that you have made.

A Content Delivery Network can cost anywhere from $20 to $1000 and beyond. But the price is based on the storage capacity of the server.

Step 2: Create a Content “feed”

A content feed is necessary for your channel because it points to the direction in which your content needs to be delivered. But this can be quite costly because a content feed can only be created by a Roku developer who is an expert at the coding language.

The cost of hiring a developer can vary from $60 per hour to $100 per hour, relying on the experience of the developer.

Step 3: Create Your Roku Channel with Direct Publisher

Lastly, you need to set up your web hosting program. The cost of a web hosting service can be anywhere from $10 per month to $100 per month.

The price depends on the storage capacity you choose, as well as the type of web hosting service you choose. After this, you will successfully be able to create your own channel with Roku. 

What’s more! You can use the Direct Publisher method even without learning how to code. 

Method #3 Roku SDK Developer

Don’t want to struggle while creating your Roku channels? No issues, the last method that we will look at is hiring a Roku developer. This way, you will not have to do any of the technical work. All you would need to do is focus on your video content.

This method is also suitable for those who do not have prior coding knowledge. The developer will take care of coding and other technical aspects of creating the Roku channels. 

Hiring a Roku developer with significant technical knowledge will cost you between $10,000 and $20,000. In addition, the developer will take at least three to six months for Roku channel development.

This fee is only for the developing process, so it does not include costs for maintenance, app support, hosting, and more. You need to have plenty of money to spare before you can hire a developer.

So if you cannot afford to shell out thousands of dollars to pay your Roku developer, then it is absolutely okay, and we understand your situation. This means that this method is not for you.

Instead, you can follow any one of the two methods that are explained below. 

How to monetize your Roku channel


There are two primary ways to earn money from your channel. Firstly, you can make your channel into an Ad-based Video on Demand (AVOD). You can sell ads to earn lots of money as ad revenue.

You can use Roku Direct Publisher, which will do the job for you. It will sell the ads for your channel by itself.

However, you will not be able to choose what ads are being run. You will also only get 60% of the ad revenue you earned, with 40% going to Roku.

You may also use Video Advertising Networks (VANs). They are just like Roku Direct Publisher but they are a third-party service.

If you do not like the above-mentioned ideas, then you can try developing a custom ad server. This will give you more control over what ads are running on your channel.

You will also receive all the revenue that you made. The only disadvantage is that you will have to do everything, from developing the ad server to reaching out to advertisers. This can be quite stressful, especially when you do not know how to do these things.

Do not want to run ads on your Roku channel?

No problem, you can offer monthly or annual subscriptions to your content by making your channel into a Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) channel.

Ads can be annoying to viewers, so you can introduce subscriptions. Viewers will have to pay a fee to access your exclusive content. Not only will you gather a fanbase, but you will also earn a lot more money from every customer.

Amazon Prime Video is a perfect example of subscription-based video content. 

Other ways to get money from your Roku channel include donations, product placement, and sponsorships. Also, you can sell merchandise to attract a larger audience and make more money.

Wrapping this up…


To conclude this very informative article, we have gone through three different methods that you can use if you want to create a Roku channel. You can either hire a professional Roku developer, use Roku Direct Publisher, or lease a channel.

If you do not want to struggle by doing everything by yourself, then you employ a developer who will do it for you. But be careful! You need to shell out between $10,000 and $20,000 for this method!

If you created a Roku channel, the next step is to earn some money from it.

So if you want to know how to do that, you can follow the instructions above to learn how to monetize your Roku channel.

Leave a Comment