Slow Start? Best Buy Starts Discounting Roku TVs Just Two Weeks After They Hit Store Shelves
Across-the-board price cuts include $150 off Roku’s 65-inch QLED ‘Plus’ and ‘Select’ Series models
Roku made its ballyhooed entry into the global smart TV business just two weeks ago, debuting two product lines of its own branded sets exclusively at Best Buy, with prices spanning $150 to $1,200.
And already, Best Buy has begun offering steep discounts on these Roku TV models, with prices slashed across both the high-end “Plus” and “Select” product lines.
Discounts range from $30 to $150, with the biggest discounts coming on the 65-inch models, a particularly popular size configuration. The 65-inch Plus Series QLED 4K Smart Roku TV has been reduced from $800 to $650, while the 65-inch Select Series 4K Smart Roku TV model is also marked down $150 to $450. (You can see pricing on all Roku TV models on this Best Buy landing page.)
Also Read: Roku Unveils Its Own Smart TVs (CES 2023)
So why the rush to trim prices? Are sales off to a slow start? Roku reps didn’t immediately respond to Next TV’s inquiry for insight, but we did notice that Best Buy has also discounted Amazon’s self-built smart TVs. For example, the Amazon Fire TV 65-inch Omni Series QLED 4K UHD smart TV with hands-free Alexa voice control is marked down $200 to $600. (It's marked down to $600 on Amazon.com.)
Notably, Best Buy is also offering Roku TV buyers three months free of Apple TV Plus for new and returning subscribers, 30 days free of Fubo for new customers and three months free of YouTube Premium for new subscribers.
Roku’s hardware business lost more than $70 million last year, and buying into the ultra-competitive, low-margin smart TV businesses on the owner’s terms probably isn't going to help that line item much in 2023.
For its part, beyond experiencing the positive aspects of owner’s economics, Roku is hoping it can drive the innovation cycle and showcase new product features more efficiently to its OEM partners, who are often reluctant to adopt things that haven't been proven sticky in the consumer market.
Roku’s strategy still revolves around expanding its active user base, so it seems logical that will work with its retail partner as long as it takes — and do what it takes — to move its TVs. ■
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Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!