Roku brings radical value to the smart home

Roku has announced a new, value-priced smart home product line. Consumers have long appreciated the brand for its line of media players, which have bridged the gap between traditional pay TV services and streaming services. The brand’s inexpensive set-top boxes and streamlined remote control design enable consumers to dabble in streaming video before making the full commitment to purchase smart TVs and cut the cable TV cord.

For those unwilling to pay several hundred dollars to try Apple TV or purchase a smart TV, Roku offers a sub-one-hundred-dollar solution for streaming video. Even for consumers who already own a smart TV, many have chosen to use a Roku device because the user experience has been so much better than what TV manufacturers have produced.

Now, Roku is ready to play a larger role in the home – this time, by controlling not only streaming video, games, and music content, but by offering smart lighting, smart plugs, floodlight cameras, video doorbells, and indoor/outdoor cameras. Roku’s launch partner is Walmart, which will be the exclusive in-store retailer for the product line.

Roku’s line is developed in partnership with Wyze Labs, a smart home device company known for its surprisingly low priced, solid quality devices. Wyze’s products have set new entry-level price points for smart home products.

“The combination of Wyze’s value-pricing with Roku’s well-known brand and Walmart’s retail reach has the potential to bring a whole new tranche of consumers into the smart home experience,” said Stuart Sikes, SVP of Interpret. “Many consumers who were curious to try streaming video turned to Roku as the company’s pricing was so affordable. Now the company is playing the same role as value provider to those interested in trying smart home products.”

The Walmart-Roku partnership can also be seen as Walmart’s answer to arch-rival Amazon’s Ring offerings. Although Ring is offered through many channels, its relationship with its parent company has given it a strong boost since Amazon’s acquisition in 2018.

After smart speakers and smart video cameras, camera doorbells and connected light bulbs are the top selling stand-alone smart home products. Between 15% and 20% of US households report owning one or more of these products, according to Interpret’s Smart Home Matrix.