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The channel store could be improved for developers

The channel store isn't a search and find or link-to based style store like the Apple or Google app stores, its a list based store, so the state of those lists is extremely important.

When a channel is added to the store, it is added in what appears to be a random position on the list of channels for its genre.

This seems to cause the same channels to surface which in turn allows those channels to benefit from being at the top of the list and likely generates them more installs or income.

This seems grossly unfair.

Can we not have the list randomised or cycled once a week or once a month, this would allow all channels to surface at some point and be a lot fairer to everyone.

Otherwise we have permanent winners and permanent losers, this makes the Roku channel store a much less attractive proposition for investment in new channels.

Thoughts?
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9 Replies
BradC
Level 7

Re: The channel store could be improved for developers

the channels on the web roku store are ranked based on popularity of the channel. Channels with the most use are at top.

The channels on the channel store on the players first give preference to channels which are not compatible with legacy devices, and within the group of roku2 only channels, they are displayed in order of popularity, and then the channels which are compatible with earlier devices, and other weird requirements are below those ranked by popularity.


So, if you want to bump your channel about halfway up most lists, drop compatibility for devices earlier than roku2. A channel with one user that's not compatible with a legacy player will be given preference over a channel that has 100,000 users but will run on a 2500x. At least that's how it still is with games.
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Komag
Level 9

Re: The channel store could be improved for developers

If I'm reading that right, it sounds insane! :? I'm working on a game and was planning on it being backwards compatible as far as possible. But if you're right, that would only hurt my visibility in the lists!
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TheEndless
Level 7

Re: The channel store could be improved for developers

"Komag" wrote:
If I'm reading that right, it sounds insane! :? I'm working on a game and was planning on it being backwards compatible as far as possible. But if you're right, that would only hurt my visibility in the lists!

I can't speak for games, because I don't have any, but I can say categorically that this is not true for other categories. The majority of the channels I've written are available for legacy models, and their placement in the channel store has not been affected.

BradC theorized on this once before, and Roku's direct feedback was that it wasn't the case: viewtopic.php?f=34&t=62199&p=403351#p403351
My Channels: http://roku.permanence.com - Twitter: @TheEndlessDev
Instant Watch Browser (NetflixIWB), Aquarium Screensaver (AQUARIUM), Clever Clocks Screensaver (CLEVERCLOCKS), iTunes Podcasts (ITPC), My Channels (MYCHANNELS)
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BradC
Level 7

Re: The channel store could be improved for developers

"Komag" wrote:
If I'm reading that right, it sounds insane! :? I'm working on a game and was planning on it being backwards compatible as far as possible. But if you're right, that would only hurt my visibility in the lists!



Yep, it definitely does.


Just go to a legacy player and view the channel store, look at the games, then do the same on a roku 2 and find even one game that supports legacy players listed above even one of the games for r2 only. (you won't, other than some oddball r3 only or game remote required type ones) Even crazy popular ones like video poker or free mazes. I know the numbers on bubble wrap and the path2 demo, and I'll take any bet from anyone on whether every single game that doesn't support legacy players beats those stats.


making a game incompatible with legacy players will definitely increase your visiblity, but the bigger question is whether the users you gain by that are more or less than you'd have from maintaining compatibility with older players.
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BradC
Level 7

Re: The channel store could be improved for developers

Another weirdness is that the "your pictures" USB screensaver showed up about halfway up the list on the channel store on players (which seems very wrong since other screensavers I have have a lot more users), but it doesn't even show up at all in the web store.
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Roku Employee
Roku Employee

Re: The channel store could be improved for developers

@Brad - some channels not showing up in the web store is a bug we uncovered on Friday in our new web ui.

As to the weighting of channels that have legacy support, we can look into this to see if there is some kind of bug in the computation. Generally though position is calculated by things such as the number of installs, number of launches, number of streams played, number of seconds streamed, number of ratings and value of ratings in a seven day rolling window, and the web store uses a different formula than the channel store, probably because it was built by a different team.

- Joel
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BradC
Level 7

Re: The channel store could be improved for developers

Did I piss someone off with this post or something?


one of my top selling channels, including one which was the highest ranked in its category at the time, near the top of the channel list and was even in the top paid channels list at the time, (high rating, high sales, high use) -- suddenly and inexplicably gets moved to the very bottom of the list, which killed sales, dropping it off the top selling list and basically costing me a lot of money in lost sales.

Emails to roku get no reply or acknowledgement.

and now another of my formerly top selling channels has been suddenly moved to the very bottom of the list for no apparent reason. Smiley Indifferent
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Komag
Level 9

Re: The channel store could be improved for developers

Maybe it's like when Google changes the metrics for page ranking, hurts some previously high ranking pages.
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BradC
Level 7

Re: The channel store could be improved for developers

if I just knew what was going on, i wouldn't be all b*tthurt about it.

Something like 15% of the channels in that category are mine, -- obviously I know numbers for usage, sales and rankings for those, so it's not like I don't have a good source of reference for comparison.

Not to mention that only 4 of my 14 channels even show up at all on the web store most of the time.


As it sits now, it's costing me money, seems to be getting worse, doesn't make any sense, and I can't get any info on what's going on. (Hopefully it's understandable that's a frustrating position to be held in.)
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