Roku keeps rolling out new content for its own Roku Channel which prove the channel could soon become many streamers’ one-stop shop for all their favorite free and premium television. The Roku Channel already boasts more than ten thousand free movies and TV episodes, but now customers will be able to add content from their subscriptions to premium TV packages like SHOWTIME, Starz, EPIX, and more. Can Roku become more than a hardware giant and rise to the level of contender in the streaming wars?
Roku’s move to add premium content to The Roku Channel is intended to draw in new users through allowing them to add their own existing subscriptions directly to the free channel. The Roku Channel features many different free trials, one-click sign-ups, and other subscription management features all under a single monthly bill. By adding the option to add premium subscriptions, Roku has made it much easier for new customers to find new content – and has also greatly expanded the reach of its advertising partners.
Some of The Roku Channel’s subscription partners at launch time include Showtime, Starz, EPIX, Baeble Music, CollegeHumor’s DROPOUT, CuriosityStream, FitFusion, The Great Courses Signature Collection, Hopster, Magnolia Selects presented by Magnolia Pictures, MHz Choice, NOGGIN, Smithsonian Channel Plus, Tastemade, Viewster Anime and more.
Several other newcomers to the streaming market have announced similar plans to bring premium content into the mix alongside free content; Apple will begin featuring premium content alongside its free original content in Apple TV, while Facebook is currently in talks with HBO, SHOWTIME, and Starz to bring their content to Facebook watch.
Premium subscriptions are expected to be added to The Roku Channel some time in late January 2019 on all supported devices through an update. No Roku device is necessary; users can watch The Roku Channel on the Roku mobile app or on a web browser.