RokBlok was one of the more memorable products featured on ABC’s business reality show Shark Tank. The portable record player, created by inventor Logan Riley, seemed to impress the Sharks when it was pitched in Season 9. RokBlok is a unique product that allows users to play vinyl records on the go. The device rides along the record as it spins, eliminating the need for a bulky turntable. With its sleek design and Bluetooth connectivity, RokBlok aimed to bring vinyl listening into the 21st century. Riley managed to strike a deal with Shark Robert Herjavec during his pitch, but the deal ultimately fell through after the episode aired. Though RokBlok benefitted from the Shark Tank effect, the product ran into some quality control issues that challenged the young company. This introduction sets the stage to dive deeper into RokBlok’s journey before and after appearing on Shark Tank. The details of what specifically happened to the company after the show are teased but not revealed.
What Exactly Is RokBlok?
RokBlok is a portable record player invented by Logan Riley that allows people to play vinyl records on the go. Shaped like a small cube, RokBlok sits directly on top of a spinning vinyl record. Embedded in the bottom of the cube is a stylus that reads the grooves of the record as it moves across the surface, converting the audio information into music. Unlike traditional bulky turntables, RokBlok doesn’t require a platter or tonearm to play records – the entire device rides along the record as it spins. Weighing just 2 pounds, RokBlok has a built-in lithium-ion battery that provides up to 4 hours of continuous playback. It also has Bluetooth connectivity to wirelessly stream music to external speakers or headphones. RokBlok aimed to deliver the warm, analog sound of vinyl in a compact, portable package designed for listening on the go. 
How RokBlok Operates
RokBlok’s ingenious design allows it to play records in a unique, portable way. The device consists of a small plastic cube containing the electronic components, with a stylus embedded in the bottom. To use RokBlok, you simply place it on top of a spinning vinyl record. As the record turns at 33 or 45 rpm, RokBlok’s wheels roll along the grooves, moving the cube outward from the center. The stylus picks up the vibrations in the record grooves, converting the analog audio signal into digital sound. An integrated circuit amplifies the audio signal which is then transmitted via Bluetooth or through the built-in speaker.
A lithium-ion battery provides up to 4 hours of continuous playtime before needing to be recharged via USB. The position of the stylus can be adjusted to properly track the record grooves depending on the thickness and warp of the vinyl. The wheels that make contact with the record surface are designed not to damage the vinyl as RokBlok rolls along.
Weighing just 2 pounds, RokBlok provides an ingeniously compact way to enjoy the vintage sound of vinyl records anywhere you want to listen. Without the restrictions of a bulky turntable and tonearm, the experience of playing records becomes more portable and accessible. RokBlok’s functional design matches its minimalist, modern aesthetic while still delivering the full warm analog sound that vinyl enthusiasts love.
Founder of RokBlok
Logan Riley is the founder of RokBlok, a portable record player business. He spent nine years as a Creative Lead at Apple in San Francisco before deciding to invest the money he had saved into his innovative idea. After being self-taught by YouTube videos, he applied for the patent and set out to develop a prototype. Riley wanted to share his vinyl discs with his friends and built a portable record player. He created a unique way of playing vintage vinyl records via his music player, the BLOK, which includes a pair of speakers (even Bluetooth). RokBlok is just one of several concepts thought up by Riley under Pink Donut, an idea company. 
RokBlok’s Pre-Shark Tank Business
Before applying to be on Shark Tank, RokBlok was already gaining momentum as a startup business. The company was solely the vision of founder Logan Riley, who remarkably taught himself electrical engineering by watching YouTube videos in order to build the first RokBlok prototype.
Riley realized he needed an influx of capital to turn his idea into a mass produced product. In 2016, he launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign seeking $50,000 to manufacture the first production run of RokBloks. The campaign was a huge success, raising over $350,000 from enthusiastic backers excited about this retro-modern take on the record player.
The funds from Kickstarter allowed Riley to refine the product, set up manufacturing, and have inventory ready to fulfill orders when RokBlok launched to the public. The successful campaign generated buzz and validated the market for RokBlok’s novel format. Thanks to Riley’s scrappy DIY approach and the support of crowdfunding backers, RokBlok had working capital and customers lined up even before appearing on the popular ABC show.
RokBlok’s Shark Tank Pitch
RokBlok landed in front of the Sharks when inventor Logan Riley pitched the product in episode 910, the 2017 Shark Tank Holiday Special. During the pitch, Logan demonstrated RokBlok in action, showing how it could sync to a Bluetooth speaker, which impressed the Sharks. However, they expressed concerns about the relatively limited target market for RokBlok’s niche audio format.
After the RokBlok episode aired, the product saw a surge in demand due to the “Shark Tank effect.” The company website sold out of inventory within just 4 hours after the pitch episode premiered.
Since appearing on Shark Tank and benefiting from Robert Herjavec’s investment offer, RokBlok has gone on to generate millions of dollars in annual revenue. The publicity and legitimacy from the show helped drive RokBlok’s success as a product and brand on the consumer market. 
RokBlok’s Post-Shark Tank Journey
Despite not reaching a deal with Robert Herjavec, RokBlok has continued to thrive after its appearance on Shark Tank. The company has improved the product based on customer feedback and released an updated versions, RokBlok V1.5 and V2.0, that features a redesigned stylus, a refined speaker system, and improved Bluetooth functionality.
RokBlok has generated millions of dollars in annual revenue since appearing on the show and continues to do very well on the public market. The company has collaborated with artists and others in the media and music industry on different projects.
RokBlok is valued at $5 million. The RokBlok 2.0 is available through Mashable for $89.99, and the original version can be purchased on the company’s website for $99, although it’s not stated which model is available.
RokBlok has experienced some negative reviews from customers on Reddit and Kickstarter centered on audio quality, but the company has addressed these concerns and improved the product.
Logan Riley, the founder of RokBlok, is still collecting a royalty on every unit sold. Overall, RokBlok is still in business and doing well after benefiting from the exposure of being on Shark Tank.
Alternatives to RokBlok
For vinyl lovers seeking a more traditional turntable experience, there are several alternatives to RokBlok’s unique portable design. The Crosley Messenger Portable Turntable is a vintage-styled suitcase record player with built-in speakers. For high fidelity portable audio, the ION Audio Vinyl Motion Deluxe plays and converts vinyl to digital files.
If keeping your vinyl collection digitized is a priority, services like Vinyl Recorder, Vinylify, and Vinylize.it will convert your records into digital formats. For those who want a seamless transition from analog to digital listening, wireless earbuds like the Sony WF-1000XM3 offer exceptional sound, noise cancellation, and Bluetooth connectivity.
Other options like Level and MD Vinyl balance retro vinyl appeal with modern technology for creative hybrid listening. Ultimately, the choice comes down to personal style and audio preferences. While RokBlok offers innovative portability, these alternatives provide their own unique vinyl listening experiences at a range of price points. The variety of options lets audiophiles customize their setup to best enjoy their record collection.
Investors Backing RokBlok
When RokBlok pitched on Shark Tank, the product garnered interest from multiple investors. Robert Herjavec made RokBlok an offer of $500,000 in exchange for 100% ownership of the company plus a $5 royalty in perpetuity on each RokBlok sold. This deal would have made Herjavec the sole owner of RokBlok while allowing founder Logan Riley to still collect royalties.
Kevin O’Leary also showed interest, offering $300,000 for a 50% equity stake in RokBlok. However, Logan Riley declined O’Leary’s offer in favor of the larger investment and ongoing royalties presented by Herjavec. 
RokBlok’s Profitability Status
Since launching and getting exposure from Shark Tank, RokBlok has proven to be a profitable business venture. The unique portable record player has generated millions of dollars in annual revenue for the company.
According to reports, RokBlok has accumulated over $5 million in lifetime sales to date. On an annual basis, the company brings in revenue of more than $959,000 just from sales of RokBlok units and affiliated products.
The popularity of vinyl records and retro audio formats has certainly helped drive interest and sales for this novel device. RokBlok’s success demonstrates there is a profitable market for innovative audio devices that put a modern spin on vintage listening experiences.
Given the continuing sales momentum and interest from major investors on Shark Tank, it is clear that RokBlok is a profitable standalone product with potential for even further growth as both a brand and company. The portable record player tapped into music lovers’ nostalgia while offering convenience and versatility for the digital era.
Assessing the Viability of Developing a Product Like RokBlok
The vinyl resurgence shows no signs of slowing down, indicating there is an eager market for innovative audio devices that offer a unique vinyl listening experience. RokBlok’s success demonstrates the demand for portable, retro-inspired vinyl products. Developing a similar device could be lucrative if executed properly.
However, the market is becoming more crowded with vinyl players aimed at different niches, so a new product would need to distinguish itself in terms of features, design, or price point. The company would also need expertise in audio engineering, manufacturing, and electronics to create a quality product.
On the plus side, RokBlok’s millions in revenue indicate the market potential is substantial for vinyl gadgets with novelty appeal. A streamlined, Bluetooth-enabled portable player could attract vinyl purists, budget-conscious consumers, and design-focused audiences.
Overall, the market opportunity exists to develop a successful product inspired by RokBlok’s unique value proposition. With strategic product development and positioning, a RokBlok-like device could find a profitable niche. But excellent execution and an innovative twist are necessities when breaking into the crowded analog audio space. 
The Future Outlook for RokBlok
If RokBlok stays on its current trajectory, the future looks bright. The company could establish itself as a leading brand for portable vinyl devices. Expanding its product line with new models, features, and partnerships could help RokBlok dominate a niche market.
Updates to the core RokBlok player enhancing audio quality, battery life, and Bluetooth connectivity will be important. Integration with streaming platforms like Spotify could also keep RokBlok on the cutting edge.
Expanding from direct sales to mass retail channels can increase visibility and availability for more mainstream consumers. Partnerships with indie record stores and vinyl subscription services represent other growth avenues.
On the technology side, integrating smart features like voice control, personalized recommendations, and mobile app integration could elevate RokBlok’s offerings. The company will need to balance innovation with retaining RokBlok’s retro charm. 
Given RokBlok’s early success, acquisition by a larger audio brand is possible. This could provide the resources to scale further. However, staying independent gives RokBlok the flexibility to take risks and nurture its unique brand identity.
RokBlok is well-positioned to consolidate its status as the premier portable vinyl player. Committing to quality, strategic growth and maintaining its indie spirit will help RokBlok spin success into the future.
How did RokBlok get its start?
RokBlok was created by inventor Logan Riley while he was a student at the University of Michigan. He launched a Kickstarter campaign in 2016 that raised over $350,000 to start manufacturing RokBlok. The successful campaign gave RokBlok the capital needed to start fulfilling orders before pitching on Shark Tank.
What happened when RokBlok pitched on Shark Tank?
RokBlok landed a deal with Shark Robert Herjavec when it pitched in 2017, with Herjavec offering $500,000 for 100% of the company plus royalties. However, the deal did not close after the show. Appearing on Shark Tank gave RokBlok a major sales boost despite not reaching a final agreement.
How successful has RokBlok been after Shark Tank?
RokBlok has gone on to generate millions in annual revenue after benefiting from the exposure of Shark Tank. The company continues to refine the product and has released an updated V1.5 version. RokBlok remains popular and profitable thanks to demand for its unique take on vinyl listening.
Where can I buy a RokBlok player?
RokBlok can be purchased directly through the company’s website for $99. The updated RokBlok V1.5 is also available on Amazon and other major retailers like Target and Urban Outfitters for around $100. Limited edition RokBloks sometimes appear on the company’s website.
What features does RokBlok have?
RokBlok has a built-in stereo speaker system, Bluetooth connectivity to wirelessly stream music, a rechargeable battery for up to 4 hours of play time, and adjustable wheels to adapt to different record thicknesses. The RokBlok V1.5 model added an improved stylus, refined audio components, and enhanced Bluetooth capabilities.
How does RokBlok compare to other portable vinyl players?
Unlike briefcase turntables which still require setting up a platter, RokBlok’s unique cube design rolls directly on the record, eliminating extra components. It offers a more minimalist, hassle-free way of playing vinyl portably compared to players that emulate full-size turntables.
Can RokBlok play all vinyl record sizes?
Yes, RokBlok is designed to play full-size 12-inch LPs, smaller 10-inch records, and 7-inch 45 rpm singles. Its wheels can adjust to the thickness and warp of different vinyl records from any era.
Does RokBlok work with streaming services?
While RokBlok can’t directly stream music like a Bluetooth speaker, its wireless connectivity allows you to listen to streaming services like Spotify on your phone while the RokBlok plays vinyl. Simply connect your phone to RokBlok via Bluetooth.
Useful Video: RokBlok (vinyl killer) Wireless Portable Record Player review
RokBlok demonstrated how innovating on a vintage product can result in runaway success. This portable Bluetooth record player revived vinyl’s retro appeal while making it even more convenient for today’s on-the-go listening. RokBlok’s clever design and origin story captivated entrepreneurs and music fans alike. Appearing on Shark Tank propelled RokBlok to millions in sales, even though a deal never materialized. This unlikely fusion of analog and digital epitomizes how startups can disrupt established markets through fresh thinking. While paying homage to vinyl’s nostalgic charm, RokBlok ultimately succeeded by questioning conventions and recognizing an unmet need for mobility. Its journey shows the value of creativity and resilience in building breakthrough products.