Channel submitted in January... still not approved
Just posting my experience with getting my channel approved with Roku as I don't have anywhere else to communicate this.
I've waited patiently for over 7 months... yes your reading this correctly 7 months for our channel to be approved as we've poured funds into the project to help ensure that it is successful.
We submitted our channel on 01/22/2015. Since then 95% of the e-mails that we have submitted have gone unanswered.
In the 7 month period we received one direct response from the approval team on 4/2/15 requesting that we make changes which we immediately resolved. There was an issue in that we did not re-submit the channel package after resolving the issues but we did send a follow up e-mail to the approval team indicating that the changes were resolved and that they could proceed.
Fast forward to early August no response was received by the team. Finally I decided to post on these forums indicating that we had gone 6 months and the channel hadn't been approved. I was immediately shut down stating that I didn't upload the package with my changes in April which is why the channel had been in limbo. An e-mail from the team in April indicating that I missed a step would have been nice but no response at all was given until I posted on this forum in August.
That marks the second contact I've had from Roku to date. I immediately uploaded the package for the changes that were made in April and now the channel is still in limbo with zero response back on status. The channel is still listed as being in "Initial Review" after 7 months...
So for those of you posting about not getting a channel approved in 2 months try waiting over three times that length with virtually no response. I've asked in every e-mail that I've sent if there was something wrong with the channel that I needed to resolve. Willing to make any changes required that they asked. Any changes that have been requested were made within 24 hours. If there was a problem with the channel submission any indication on what the issue was would have been resolved just as quickly but it's hard to do that when you don't hear anything at all.
I think Roku is an amazing company but hearing about others getting approvals in months while we wait the majority of the year is clearly frustrating.
It might be that reviewers find the content of your channel objectionable and have referred the case to the higher-ups for review. My understanding is that RokuCo frowns to adult/mature audience content and would not make such channels to be "public" nor will approve "Roku billing" for "private" such channels. Instead they'd be encouraged to stay private and BYO billing.
By the way, i don't think RokuCo is required to approve any channel for public distribution, unless they so please. I.e. there is no guarantee even if following certain guidelines that the app will be accepted. (Check with the SDK agreement and correct me)
From my personal experience i can say about the Roku people i was in touch over publishing an app of mine - each of the three people i exchanged emails with - they went above and beyond what i imagine their job description requires. They flagged me about minor omissions, gave feedback beyond show-stopper issues etc. I even took some to-do ideas for next version from that. There was no ill-will treatment. And yes, i hated the long wait before review and cannot excuse that on corporate level.
To you, @maidennetwork - keep emailing your Roku reviewer contacts regularly when you haven't heard from them. Say no response in week - email again. And again next week and so on. I venture guessing they dropped the ball on some of your emails, it happened to me once or twice. Also, try scoring a phone conversation with their developer support - that tends to resolve problems much faster than playing email tag.
To Roku reviewers (free advice; it's worth every penny!): "Fantasy abandoned by reason produces impossible monsters". Not answering an email, the lack of feedback leaves the imagination to wild speculations, conspiracies, "evil empire" etc. Can you possibly adopt a protocol to answer all emails within couple of days? Not with a resolution necessarily - but even with a one-liner like "we are working on it, will hear back from me in a week" or "too busy now, ping me in a week" or "no update on your case yet, wait another dept. feedback - check later". Or the pent-up anxiety leads to outbursts here (or worse - social media) and development focusing on other platforms where review times are below 2 weeks or there is no curation whatsoever (like google play)
Re: Channel submitted in January... still not approved
Appreciate the response but if adult/mature content (no content on our network is adult not sure where that comes from but mature, sure...) then I wouldn't have gotten as far as I did to the point of communicating with a sales rep to discuss an advertising split with Roku. If they get to that point without having fully reviewed the channel then something else is wrong and it isn't on our end.
And your missing the point. The point is no matter what was wrong with the submission whether it was content, structure or whatever else it could be it was never communicated to us outside of the two contacts we had pointing out small issues that we resolved instantly.
And yes Roku is not required to approve a channel. It's not about being required to do anything its about good business practice and open lines of communication.
I'm glad you had a great experience when it comes to communication. I can't speak for anyone else's experience nor do I ever plan to. I can only speak to and am concerned with my specific experience which has been extremely frustrating.
We've since moved on to the next project that doesn't involved content streaming. This post isn't meant to get my channel approval it's meant for others looking to have their channels approved.
Re: Channel submitted in January... still not approved
I've had some messages asking about the results of our channel approval after posting to the boards. Posting to the boards did get us some visibility and finally after getting zero response from the approval team I did get a e-mail stating that they would look at my submission and get the testers working on it which was a surprise to me because the way the e-mail was structured it seemed like my submission was going no where until I made a stink about it on the boards.
The e-mail I received stated that testing would be completed by the next day (9/9/15). Fast forward to 9/22/15 the work still wasn't completed. An e-mail went out and I received the results on 9/23/15. And this my friends is where I officially gave up on my channel submission to Roku. Keep in mind my original channel submission was made in JANUARY!!!
First off this was not the first set of changes I was asked to make by Roku this would have been round 3 of those changes. Why a channel can't be reviewed and the developer provided with a single all encompassing list of the issues to resolve is beyond me but I kept getting "oh by the way you have to fix this" lists. And that wasn't the worst part of it.
The worst part was that over HALF of the issues on the list that I was provided on 9/23 were issues that came up as a direct result of things I WAS TOLD TO ADD that I never intended on adding. I just about fell out of my seat when I read through the list going... I didn't even want that anyway I was forced to add this and now your listing it as an issue for me to fix!??!?!
At that point I realized Roku just isn't the company for us to work with when it comes to our media. Yes we aren't Netflix or Amazon or Hulu but independent channel creators helped put Roku in the number 1 spot they are in. To do such a poor job in getting a channel approved just isn't in line with a company the size of Roku. And trust me I've talked to PLENTY of other channel creators that have seen the same issues with professionalism.
So the results are we've abandoned our Roku public channel submission. No sense in dumping money in a venture when your tied to a company that isn't giving you the support that you need to be successful on their platform.