Roku Stops Charging For Themes

Roku has announced they’ll no longer charge for themes.

Over the years, many have been free, including a small but random sampling to get started and some to commemorate the periodic holiday. While others have been sponsorships, such as my preferred Subaru National Parks presentation. But a few were Roku Store purchases. And I so wish I could insert the crying eyes emoji into my post. Let’s keep it real – in many circumstances, 1/3rd of the Roku interface is dominated by a humongo banner ad. Did they really need to double dip for the occasionally interesting or colorful background? Apparently, the answer is (now) a no.

I suppose Roku should also be credited for building this optional functionality in, versus Apple and Fire TVs. But I also wonder if this change in approach heralds the end of the traditional app channel grid (on newer models) and is something of a peace offering to owners of legacy hardware, given the upcoming redesign… which has me concerned.