Television aggregator Roku said on Monday it would launch its streaming players in Germany later this year, its second big European rollout, seeking to capitalize on a pandemic-driven shift towards watching more video on demand.
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Roku will offer content from local partners Seven.One Entertainment Group, RTL Deutschland and Comcast Corp's Sky Deutschland, as well as big names Netflix Inc, Amazon.com Inc's Amazon Prime and Walt Disney Co's Disney+.
San Jose, California-based Roku started in 2008 by marketing streaming players before developing a proprietary operating system that, it says, offers a smooth and easy interface for choosing what to watch on TV.
In Germany, Roku would compete with rivals including the Amazon Fire TV stick and Google Chromecast.
Building on its core US franchise, Roku entered the UK market wo years ago as a software partner for smart TV maker Hisense, but is taking a different approach in Germany by going in first with its plug-in player.
"There is a very big secular shift to streaming - that's a trend that was accelerated last year by the pandemic," Arthur van Rest, the executive leading Roku's international expansion, told Reuters in an interview.
Instead of passively consuming scheduled programming, viewers increasingly watch what they want, when they want to. "TV and the way that it's being consumed are shifting dramatically - and we are right at the heart of that," he added.