Roku makes a new move towards software. Being a leading set-top box maker for a long time now, Roku plans to stream video to third-party devices. The Roku mobile app, which currently works as a control module for Roku hardware, will soon gain the ability to stream online content. Currently, customers need a Roku box or stick, or a licensed Roku TV, to stream from its channels. Very soon they might only need a mobile app.
For starters, Roku will support its own video streaming service, the Roku Channel. The launch gives it a way to sell ads on premium content. Connected TV interfaces have been getting easier to use, and this encourages Roku to look for a path away from hardware.