I'd like to share a post I've submitted to Partner Success. I don't normally rant, but, I was frustrated enough to submit the following.
I'm writing to express my dissatisfaction and frustration with the lack of support for the Direct Publisher platform. Direct Publisher has the opportunity to be a great vehicle for developers to create and publish their channels. However, the past several months have highlighted numerous problems that have negatively impacted channel developers. A simple scan of the Roku DP forum will show the displeasure of several developers who have run afoul of the DP system and have experienced “back end” problems that have negatively impacted their publishing efforts. Couple that with an inconsistent support system providing misleading and often incorrect information and you have the makings of a serious problem. For example, I recently reported some inconsistencies with the Roku JSON documentation and the responses I've received from support staff. I recently noticed that the 'releaseDate' field had been removed from the Episode object. When I asked about it, I was told that the field is no longer required. When I tried to submit a new feed file, it failed because I had removed the 'releaseDate' field. I was then told it is needed. Additionally, documents on Partner Success indicate that “Trick Play thumbnails are automatically generated by Roku's firmware for Direct Publisher channel content.”. When I asked a support person to verify this I was told that, no, they are not automatically generated for DP channels. To put it bluntly, it appears that one hand of Roku does not know what the other is doing. This ultimately impacts DP developers because we cannot count on accurate information or a stable DP platform.
Please correct these problems. Or at a minimum, please monitor the DP forum to head off potential problems that end up causing numerous delays for developers.
FREE Windows desktop software for creating and managing Direct Publisher MRSS, JSON, and FireTV feeds @ https://github.com/rrirower. No Programming knowledge required.
Roku is such a powerful platform, and it seems DP Devs are at the bottom end of the support hierarchy. I get that it's probably not a huge moneymaker, but assisting users who help bring more folks to your platform should at least get some love.