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ROXi, a TV-centric music video streaming service featuring 100 million-plus titles, is heading to US shores in Q1. ROXi has also connected with Sinclair to deliver interactive music video channels over ATSC 3.0 broadcast streams.
January 9, 2024
ROXi is preparing to launch its free, ad-supported and premium, subscription-based video music streaming service in the US on several streaming platforms in the coming weeks. ROXi's Q1 2023 US launch will emerge about two years after the service debuted in the UK with partners such as Comcast-owned Sky, Amazon and Samsung.
Tied in with its coming US launch, ROXi is collaborating with Sinclair Broadcasting to offer an initial set of free, ad-supported interactive streaming music channels on IP-based ATSC 3.0 broadcast signals: the ROXi Music Channel, the ROXi Music Karaoke Channel and the ROXi Music Games Channel.
For the US launch, ROXi has completed integrations with several streaming platforms and connected TV makers, including LG Electronics, Sony, Roku, Comcast (for its global EntertainmentOS), Amazon's Fire TV and Android TV. Looking to supplant some of today's smart speaker products, those integrations will also support voice search and navigation on platforms such as Comcast's, allowing users to deep link into ROXi's catalog simply by uttering a request.
Apple TV is among the platforms currently missing from ROXi's roster, but the company is hopeful to support that platform as well, ROXi CEO Rob Lewis tells Light Reading.
ROXi, a company that includes celeb backers such as Simon Cowell, Kylie Minogue and Sheryl Crow, will feature a free, ad-supported version of the service as well as a premium offering that will sell for $8.99 per per month. The premium service will toss in a karaoke microphone for no added cost. ROXi also sells the mic for $29.99.
Lewis said ROXi's "full catalog" offering supports more than 100 million music titles and tracks from major and independent labels comprised of official music videos as well as "virtual" music videos that pair the original music track with images from the Getty Images library. Playing up the social aspect of the service, the ROXi screen on the TV will feature a QR code that enables others to add videos to the playlist.
"You effectively have the same catalog as Spotify, but with a full-screen audio/visual music experience," he said. That jukebox-like capability "democratizes the playlist," Lewis explained Monday during a demo held in Las Vegas during CES 2024.
ROXi's US offering initially will also offer a pair of games that asks players to identify artists and music titles.
Lewis views YouTube Music and Vevo among ROXi's closest competitors, and considers an audio-focused music streaming service like Spotify as complementary.
Though ROX's focus will stay on the TV screen, the service will eventually come to tablets and smartphones.
'FastStream' tech brings interactivity to ATSC 3.0
That TV-centric focus is also part of ROXi's new partnership with Sinclair, which will initially offer a set of music video channels via ATSC 3.0, the new IP-based broadcast signaling standard that carries the "NextGenTV" consumer brand.
Sinclair is running a seven-day, live demo of the new ROXi offering this week in Las Vegas to showcase the coming service.
An example of the ROXi Music Games Channel running on an ATSC 3.0 broadcast signal. (Source: ROXi)
Starting in Q1, Sinclair broadcast TV viewers in 3.0-enabled markets will be able to access the ROXi service and interact with it – they'll be able to skip, rewind and fast-forward through music videos and play games. Those services will be made interactive via ATSC 3.0 broadcasts by "FastStream," a ROXi technology that downloads a temporary app in the background when a viewer flips to the ROXi channel.
FastStream effectively "hijacks" the broadcast transmission within the electronic program guide and downloads the ROXi app in the background, Lewis explained.
One aim of the new offering with Sinclair is to help make broadcast TV more relevant, particularly to consumers who now expect content to be available on demand.
"It's linear TV fighting back and suddenly becoming truly interactive," Lewis said.
FastStream, he added, also has the potential to apply to other types of interactive-enabled broadcast streams, such as home shopping and potentially sports betting.
ROXi has raised about £35 million ($US44.65 million), and expects to announce additional funding with its coming US launch.
Senior Editor, Light Reading
Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.
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