A new streaming service wants to shake up how you enjoy music in the home – by putting the television screen front and center with a vast library of music videos, interactive elements, games, and karaoke.
Meet ROXi, which is making its debut ahead of the official start of CES 2024. The service, which is backed by celebrities like Simon Cowell and Sheryl Crow, boasts a catalog of 100 million music videos, and will be found on virtually all smart TV platforms, including Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung, LG, and more.
It will launch later in the first quarter with a free, ad-supported tier, as well as a ROXi Premium tier that costs $8.99 a month after a 30-day free trial. Premium users also get a free karaoke mic when they sign up.
ROXi is trying to come at the streaming music business from a different direction, and Lewis was emphatic that this wasn’t trying to compete against Spotify or Apple Music (although Apple TV is one of the few smart TV platforms it won’t work on). It’s a bet on whether people love their music enough to spend time on a TV streaming service watching the music videos and, presumably, singing karaoke.
“We believe there’s an opportunity to create a better user experience for music, and the TV can be the center of that universe,” CEO Rob Lewis told Cord Cutters News ahead of the launch.
Lewis said that all 100 million+ songs in its library include a music video – even those songs that never shot one. To enhance the visual experience, ROXi licensed both the music and obtained the ability to create music videos for those songs, pulling images and video from various services.
He boasted that the catalog included not just the hits from the major labels, but also the smaller independent ones as well. Its Netflix-like interface also includes curated channels from the celebrities that own a stake in the company, so expect to see lists chosen by Cowell and Crowe, along with Kylie Minogue, and U2’s Adam Clayton.
To find new audiences, Lewis told Cord Cutters News that it has partnered with Samsung and LG to integrate the service into their respective search functions. So if you run a search for a song on a Samsung or LG smart TV, the results let you go directly to the ROXi service.
ROXi will also be available on phones and tablets, but Lewis reiterated that this wasn’t meant to be a mobile-first experience, even if you could play the music while locking the device.
“We felt the need for a different type of experience for music,” Lewis said.