Roxi, a U.K. video music service backed by celebrities including Simon Cowell, Kylie Minogue and Sheryl Crow, said it plans to launch in the U.S. during the first quarter on most streaming and smart TV platforms.
The voice-activated service, with a free and premium tier, is designed to supplant smart speakers as a source of in-home music and offers a library of 100 million videos — larger than other music video services.
“We’re going to change the way a lot of consumers enjoy music in the home,” Roxi CEO Rob Lewis told Broadcasting+Cable.
“We’re TV-centric at our very heart and we’re about to bring the best possible experience in the living room,” Lewis said.
The service will be demonstrated this week at CES 2024 in Las Vegas.
Roxi has signed up platforms including Roku, Comcast, Fire TV, Google TV, Android TV and NVIDIA Shield. Also on board are smart-TV makers Samsung, LG, Vizio, Hisense and Sony Bravia. Those platforms are incorporating Roxi into their global search and integrating Roxi into their voice-control systems.
“Roxi’s full catalog of 100 million original and virtual music videos will be integrated directly into the search function on all new LG TVs from 2024 enabling LG TV users to search for music as well as TV and movies,” Matthew Broughton, director, LG Smart TV content and services, said.
Lewis said Roxi will be carried by platforms that also own their own music-video services, such as Amazon, Apple and Google.
Those competitors have been open to Roxi because they don’t want consumers leaving their platform because they can’t access a popular service.
“We have a much closer partnership with those vendors and forms that don't own a music service,” he added, noting that those platforms and set makers believe music is important but developing their own music service would be difficult and prohibitively expensive.
Roxi’s music catalog includes both the major publishers and independents.
For songs without official music videos, Roxi creates virtual music videos using photos from Getty Images, which is much better for TV than showing static images like album covers.
Roxi’s free service will provide unlimited music videos, exclusive curated music and karaoke channels and games. It will be ad-supported. Ads will be sold programmatically by Roxi and by the platforms on which the service stream.
The premium version of Roxi is ad-free and will cost $8.99 a month after a free 30-day trial period. The premium service comes with a Roxi karaoke microphone. The microphone can be purchased at roxi.tv for $29.99.
Roxi and its distributors plan a major national marketing push using television and digital media, Lewis said.
According to a poll commissioned by Roxi, more than 75% of U.S. consumers want to try Roxi’s free TV app on their smart TVs and 60% of U.S. consumers are interested in switching their home music listening from audio-only smart speakers to full music videos playing on the TV.
“Music represents 80% of listening on smart speakers today; but that’s audio-only listening and audio-only is ridiculous on a TV and when there is a TV in every home,” said Lewis.
Lewis added that Roxi will increase engagement for the platforms its on because users will have their smart TVs on to play background music when they’re not watching a show or movie.
“Ultimately the TV will become center stage for music,” Lewis said. Users after a hard day at work will be able to ask the TV to play some U2, and it will come right on," he said. “These TVs have the best sound bar in the room as well."
Roxi users will be able to create their own playlists. And when other members of the family are in the living room, or if a party is going on, a cue code on the screen will enable visitors to add tunes to the playlist using their smartphones.
Roxi’s celebrity shareholders are curating channels. The service also features channels designed for relaxation and themed channels, such as the best music from James Bond films.
Channels on Roxi will be programmed by a U.S. team of curators, rather than using artificial intelligence.
“I’m a firm believer in the importance of really expert human curation,” Lewis said.
Roxi curators can use data from consumer usage to reexamine their channels.
Roxi was Initially developed in the U.K. on Sky Q, Sky Glass, Sky Stream, Samsung, LG, Fire TV, Android TV and Google TV.
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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.