Roku offers up its streaming platform separate from its hardware
First launched back in September of 2017, the Roku Channel offers more than 10,000 movies and TV shows to stream on-demand. The programming is ad-supported, though the ads are less frequent than conventional television. The Roku Channel ended up driving most of the revenue for the company, which first started selling its set-top box back in 2008.
Now, the Roku app is going to get a big upgrade to support the content available on the Roku Channel, per a report from Wired. Previously, the app only served as a way to control any Roku devices in the home. This month, the app will be modified to stream all the content available on the Roku Channel itself. This means you’ll no longer need a Roku device to access the Roku Channel.
Additionally, in the coming weeks, Roku plans to offer subscription services to other premium channels through its service — much like what Amazon Prime Video does. While there’s a similarity, Roku’s vice president of programming and engagement Rob Holmes believes they have an advantage here.
“In order to sign up for one of these channels on Amazon, you have to be a Prime member. For us, there’s no other base subscription that you need to access,” Holmes explained. “The second element is, the primary purpose of Prime is to get you to buy more stuff on Amazon. It’s a membership and retention tool for your shopping on Amazon. And they’ve endowed Prime itself with a lot of great content that you can access as a subscriber. Their incentive is to promote that Prime content, so that you really feel the value of your Prime subscription.”
Currently, the Roku Channel will feature quality films such as Ali, The Karate Kid, Legally Blonde, and many others from leading studios including Lionsgate, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Sony Pictures Entertainment and Warner Brothers among others. The Roku Channel will also help existing channel publishers drive additional viewership of their content on the Roku platform. Publishers participating include American Classics, Fandor, FilmRise, Nosey, OVGuide, Popcornflix, Vidmark, and YuYu; others are expected to be added over time.