Hearst Backs Roku To Expand TV Streaming
Hearst has joined a $60 million venture-capital round backing Roku, the company that facilitates online streaming to TV screens. The media company with magazines and TV stations has an
arm with investments in Brightcove and WideOrbit.
Hearst became a first-time Roku investor in the series F round, along with an unnamed institutional investor. Previous funders BSkyB and News Corp. also participated.
“Roku has built a strong brand that is widely recognized for great technology and a broad selection of high-quality content,” stated Ken Bronfin, senior managing director at Hearst Ventures.
Roku content includes Netflix, Hulu Plus and MLB.tv. It says it streamed more than 1 billion hours of video and music last year. Time Warner Cable and Roku have an agreement to allow TWC subscribers to access live channels on an authenticated basis using Roku devices.
Roku is working with electronics manufacturers to bring “Roku Ready” TVs and other devices with its technology installed to stores by the end of the year.