Roku looks to expand its smart TV OS lead in the U.S. through Sharp deal

Roku has again claimed the top spot among smart TV platforms being sold in the U.S. and it’s looking to further cement that position through a new manufacturer deal.

The company’s latest sales win, which it said is its second in a row, is according to NPD’s Weekly Retail Tracking Service and based on available data from January 3, 2021 through December 4, 2021, which notably may exclude a lot of holiday sales for smart TVs.

Roku’s extensive licensing reach with smart TV manufacturers has helped it maintain a lead over manufacturers with their own smart TV platforms like Samsung, LG and Vizio. And now the company is adding another partner to its lineup through a new deal with Sharp to launch Sharp Roku TV HD and 4K models in the U.S.

Sharp Roku TV models will come integrated with Roku OS and including access to more than 200 live TV channels through the Roku Channel.

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“Sharp, like Roku, is an award-winning, household known brand and we look forward to a productive partnership together in the U.S.,” said Mustafa Ozgen, general manager and senior vice president of account acquisitions at Roku, in a statement. “We both firmly believe that the power and ease of use of Roku TV, combined with the Sharp brand promise of ‘simply better living’ makes an appealing combination for customers looking for a great TV experience.”

“We are excited to collaborate with Roku and equip our new HD and 4K UHD TVs with their award-winning Operating System (OS),” said Jim Sanduski, president of Sharp Home Electronics Company of America, in a statement. “Pairing our long-standing heritage in display technology with Roku’s best-in-class, easy-to-use interface is a winning combination for our consumers.”

The Roku TV licensing program in Mexico is also expanding to include a total of 10 brands including new additions Aiwa and HKPRO starting in early 2022.

Late last month, Roku announced expansion of the Roku TV Ready Certification program with Polk Audio and Westinghouse joining in early 2022, adding to an existing roster of Roku TV Ready partners including Bose, Hisense, TCL North America and Sound United, parent company to Denon, Definitive Technology and Polk Audio. Additionally, the program was expanded internationally with partners launching in the United Kingdom, Canada and Mexico.