GoPro took another step towards becoming a media company by announcing a Roku channel which will launch in the spring.
The channel will broadcast a mixture of user-submitted and GoPro-produced content. Although the channel will not be hugely different to the already popular GoPro YouTube channel and website, head of programming Adam Dornbusch said that he is looking forward to new content categories such as animals and musicians. This is part of a move away from the classic GoPro categories of extreme sports and motorsports.
Live sports footage?
The Roku channel will also broadcast footage from GoPro cameras used in the company’s existing partnerships with the National Hockey League (NHL) and the X-Games. GoPro is considering more partnerships with professional sports organizations, but there are no further deals in the pipeline as of now.
One intriguing possibility is the addition of live footage. Dornbusch says that although live footage will not be broadcast on the Roku channel from launch, GoPro are currently working on how to make live footage more “compelling,” with the aim of adding it in the not too distant future.
The Roku channel marketplace is already crowded,and GoPro will be entering into competition with HBO, ESPN, Netflix and other big hitters. There is also an existing NHL channel, which is just one of many sports channels already available.
Making the channel stand out
One feature that will make the GoPro channel stand out from the pack is the inclusion of instructional and behind-the-scenes videos explaining how popular videos were filmed. Another is the possibility of pausing any video to see which camera and accessories were used in its production. The feature borrows from Amazon’s X-Ray, but without the possibility of purchasing a GoPro through the Roku channel.
GoPro has previously launched channels on Xbox and Virgin America, which both had a fairly obvious target market of young, adventurous users. The introduction of a channel for Roku, which is currently the most popular streaming device for so-called cord-cutters, is a great way of building the idea of a lifestyle around the use of its cameras.
It sounds as though the Roku channel is the first of many steps in the path towards becoming a media company, as Dornbusch claimed: “This is just the beginning.”