• You.i TV Extends Support to Roku, With Turner’s Filmstruck First to Adopt

    Multi-screen video app platform provider You.i TV announced support for Roku’s SceneGraph 7.6 XML framework for building channels on its connected TV devices. FilmStruck, Turner Classic Movies’ SVOD service, which already used You.i TV, is the first content provider to take advantage of the new capability to power its Roku channel.

    Last fall, You.i TV raised a $12 million Series B round led by Time Warner Investments, a sister entity to Turner.

    You.i TV said that it supports Roku’s standard monetization and discovery features including deep linking, in-app purchasing, analytics and the Roku Advertising Framework. With the addition of Roku, You.i TV now supports iOS, Android, tvOS, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox, Playstation, Tizen TV, Chromecast and others.

    For You.i TV, Roku is a critical addition as the device-maker consistently shows up as having the largest market share in the connected TV category. A couple of months ago, comScore research pegged Roku’s share of U.S. WiFi households at 18%, ahead of Fire TV at 12%, Chromecast, 8% and Apple TV, 5%.

    You.i TV solves a pressing problem that all content providers these days have: the desire to be on all relevant connected and mobile platform, but without taking on a huge new expense for upfront development and ongoing maintenance. Back in November, 2014 in “Drip, Drip, Drip - Video Apps Slowly Get Added to Connected TV Devices,” I highlighted the inefficiency of content providers’ one-off rollouts which were a world away from the open web and standardized browsers.

    You.i TV’s secret sauce is reuse of an app’s underlying codebase for all supported devices, a concept rooted in the video game development world. With this approach, the workflow is streamlined and updates can be quickly deployed into apps on different platforms.

    With connected TVs in nearly 70% of U.S. homes and mobile video viewing poised to explode with the widespread promotion of unlimited data plans, it is inevitable that more video viewing is going to flow through connected TV and mobile apps.

    As just one example of how important omnipresent availability is, yesterday Apple announced that Amazon Prime TV will soon be available on Apple TV, confirming earlier reports. The deal between two companies that vigorously compete in numerous product and service categories underscores how ubiquitous distribution and support, even for the giants of the industry, is essential. Viewers’ expectations are driving this.