In a nutshell: Roku is reportedly exploring the possibility of manufacturing its own branded television sets. The decision could be in response to ongoing supply chain issues that have made it harder for some manufacturers to gets sets to consumers. The problem indirectly impacts Roku's ability to grow its subscriber base, so one potential solution could be to cut out the middleman entirely and manufacture its own televisions.
A source familiar with the matter, who attended a focus group hosted by Roku earlier this month, told Business Insider that the company showed off a variety of models with varying feature sets, price points, screen sizes and names.
To be clear, Roku already licenses its smart TV platform to existing set makers, and some of them use the Roku brand name to market their sets. The moderator of the focus group reportedly made it clear that "this is a manufacturing operation."
A different source told the publication Roku has been focused on manufacturing TV sets for more than a year. "They recognized that owning the last bit of branding made a lot of sense, particularly if you are going into content," the source was quoted as saying.
Business Insider's report was first published last week but flew under the radar until recently. Share value in Roku is up more than eight percent on the day.
The set-top box maker has also seen an uptick in competition as of late from rivals like Samsung and Vizio. Even Amazon is getting in on the historically low-margin business, with plans to launch its own branded televisions later this year.