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Twitter’s TV App Goes Live on Roku

Variety logo Variety 5/4/2017 Janko Roettgers
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Roku is next up on the list of devices getting access to Twitter’s TV app: U.S.-based owners of Roku TVs and Roku streaming boxes and sticks now have access to Twitter’s Roku channel through the company’s channel store, and can then tune in to live streams from Twitter and Periscope.

The new app, which doesn’t require a Twitter log-in, lets users watch live video streams and browse the Twitter timeline. The implementation is similar to Twitter’s apps on Apple TV, Fire TV, and Xbox One, which all launched over the past few months.

Twitter’s expansion into the connected TV space goes hand-in-hand with its live video ambitions. The company announced a flurry of new live content deals as part of its Digital Content NewFronts presentation in New York this week, including partnerships with Major League Baseball, the NFL, Viacom, the WNBA, BuzzFeed, Bloomberg Media, Live Nation, the PGA, Ben Silverman’s Propagate, and IMG Fashion.

Twitter also continues to encourage amateur and long-tail video producers to live stream their work with Periscope. In March, Twitter officially unveiled the Periscope Producer API, which makes it possible to stream high-quality video footage from external cameras, drones, and studio feeds. Twitter also recently added pre-roll ads to Periscope live streams to help producers monetize their work.

With its new Roku app, Twitter could potentially reach a number of additional eyeballs. 13 percent of all smart TVs sold in the U.S. are now Roku TVs, and Roku claims to have 13 million monthly active accounts across its streaming devices.

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