What is a Roku Private Channel or Roku Non-Certified Channel?

Update: As of 2022 Roku removed all Private Channels and replaced them with Beta Channels. Unlike Private Channels, these Beta Channels are only temporary and have strict limitations.

A Roku former non-certified channel was a channel that was not listed in the Roku public channel directory. There are many Roku private channels. Private channels are hidden that stations cannot be found by users who search for content in the Roku public channel store.

How is this type channel Developed?

This type of channel is developed in the same way a public channel is developed. The software development process is the same. The difference is that this a this type of channel does not go through the rigorous approval process that is necessary for a channel to make it into the public Roku channel store.

How is the channel accessed?

Each private channel has its own link on the Roku site, the link is simply not be found in the public channel search in Roku. An owner of this type of Roku app, simply gives users a direct hyperlink to the channel.

When you've set up a private channel you simply point users, who want to subscribe to your channel, to a your private channel URL. The user then logs into their Roku account when prompted, accepts the channel and the app is added to their Roku account. These type of channels are sometimes adult-oriented, which Roku doesn't officially sanction.

This type of channel is good for a communities of users who do not want the general public to join without an invitation or pre-screening. The shows they produce here are often highly unique, and there is a large selection to pick from. Roku stations are a really good way for content producers, broadcasters, and anybody who'd like to curate multimedia to offer content to people to consume.

What are these channels used for?

The channels are used by groups who either do not need public exposure for their channel, gain members independently or feature unique content. Here is an example. If an established content provider simply wants to give existing users access to content, a private channel may be a good solution.

Another use for a Roku non-certified channel is a private group that is not open to the general public for membership. Lastly, businesses or organizations who gain customers through the web, can easily develop private channels. These groups can give their members access to a private channel without having Roku take a percentage of their user’s membership fees.

What are the disadvantages of these channels?

While it is much simpler to launch this type of private app, there are disadvantages. Users who subscribe to private channels are exposed to Roku disclaimer boxes that warn users of dangerous content. In addition, organizations who seek to develop channels, often want to use Roku’s public platform to advertise their channel. Private channels are completely “off the grid” and are hidden to millions of Roku users on the device platform This type of channel is good for organizations who not need to advertise for new subscribers. However most Roku channels want to leverage the tremendous power of Roku platform to gain thousands of new users. Private channels are easy to make, but are hard to find. This tradeoff should be weighed by anyone seeing to make a private channel.

MacMillan Interactive Communications, LLC programs and develops Roku private channels. Please contact MIC for a consultation on your Roku development needs. We are happy to help with your project.