GoPro gets closer to becoming a media company with its new Roku channel

It’s a way of life.
It’s a way of life.
Image: Reuters/Tony Gentile
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GoPro continued its march toward its goal of becoming a media company on Feb. 5, with the announcement of its new channel on the streaming media player Roku, which will launch in the spring.

The channel will host a combination of original GoPro-produced and user-submitted content. The content won’t be wildly different from what’s available on the company’s popular YouTube channel and its own site, although the company is looking to move beyond its traditional base of extreme sports and motorsports videos. GoPro’s head of programming, Adam Dornbusch, told Quartz that some of the new content he’s excited about—some of which is user-generated—is about animals and musicians. Not quite skydiving from the edge of space, then.

Dornbusch said that the Roku channel would have some of the footage shot on GoPros from the company’s partnerships with the US’s National Hockey League (NHL) and the X-Games. Dornbusch said, however, that the channel would not have any live footage, although this is something GoPro is considering adding once it figures out how to make its live footage more “compelling.” Dornbusch also said that GoPro would like to bring more professional sports to its channels in the future, but currently has no other deals in the works.

GoPro is entering a crowded Roku channel marketplace; it’s competing for users’ attention against HBO, ESPN, Netflix and other established digital channels. There’s also a wide array of sports channels on Roku, including an NHL channel. Dornbusch said the GoPro channel will include ‘how-to’ and behind-the-scenes videos on how its most popular videos are shot. There will also be a feature on the channel allowing users to pause any video to see what camera and accessories were used to create the shot, rather like Amazon’s X-Ray feature, except that users won’t be able to purchase GoPros via their Rokus.

The Roku launch follows similar GoPro offerings on Xbox and Virgin America in 2013, all seemingly geared toward its predominantly young, adventure-seeking audience. Bringing its content to the top-selling streaming device for cord-cutting millennials is one more way to tap into the lifestyle surrounding its camera business.

There are more platforms coming for GoPro lovers, Dornbusch added: ”This is just the beginning.”