The Roku Channel is an over-the-top VOD streaming service owned and operated by Roku, Inc. Launched in September 2017,[1][2] the service is offered in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Mexico. It reaches 100 million U.S. viewers in Roku's estimates,[3] and reportedly gathers 1.1% of all U.S. TV use as of 2023.[4]

The Roku Channel
Logo for Roku Channel as of 2023
DeveloperRoku, Inc.
Key peopleAnthony Wood, Charlie Collier
TypeOver-the-top media service
Launch date
  • September 2017; 6 years ago (2017-09)
Platform(s)Web: browsers running on PCs, smartphones and tablets

Streaming devices: Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast with Google TV, Android TV, Roku, Samsung smart TVs
StatusActive (USA, Canada, the U.K., Mexico)
Members100 million viewers
Pricing model Free ad-supported streaming television (FAST)

The Roku Channel offers nearly 350 linear streaming channels, more than 80,000 TV shows and movies, and access to premium content.[5] The channel is available on streaming devices and smart TVs from Roku as well as other providers.[6][7][8]

History edit

Launch in North America edit

The Roku Channel was launched in September 2017 as a free, ad-supported streaming television service ("FAST"), [1][9] offered to viewers in the U.S.[10] Roku's CEO Anthony Wood stated in the same month that the channel was a "way for content owners to publish their content on Roku without writing an app".[11] By August 2018, the channel was available in Canada,[6] and a website version of the service was launched letting the channel to get watched using any browser.[12][13] In August 2018, the Roku Channel was also reported to have inked content licensing deals with Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Lionsgate, Disney, and Paramount Pictures. Additionally, the service offered content from existing partners such as American Classics, FilmRise, Nosey, OVGuide, Popcornflix, Vidmark, and YuYu.[13]

Expansion into the U.K., Mexico edit

April 2020 saw the launch of the Roku Channel in the U.K.[14] In January 2021, Roku announced that it had acquired the original content library of the defunct mobile video service Quibi for an undisclosed amount, reported to be around $100 million, to make the content available on the Roku Channel.[15][16] The content was rebranded as Roku Originals.[17]

In October 2022, the channel was launched in Mexico.[18] According to Deadline Hollywood, October 2022 also saw Charlie Collier, previously the CEO of Fox Entertainment, join Roku as the President of Roku Media to manage ad platform business and content for the Roku Channel and more.[19] By November 2022, the Roku Channel was offering premium subscriptions for over 50 services including Discovery+, Paramount+,[20] MGM+, Showtime, Starz,[21] HBO,[22], AMC+, Shudder and Acorn TV.[23] By the end of 2022, the Roku Channel was reaching U.S. households with a total population of 100 million, in Roku's estimates.[3][7]

Further development edit

According to The Hollywood Reporter, May 2023 Nielsen data revealed that the Roku Channel gathered 1.1% of all U.S. TV use, tying NBCUniversal’s Peacock, and trailing YouTube at 8.5% and Netflix at 7.9%.[4] By August 2023, the Roku Channel was reportedly available on Roku-branded streaming devices and smart TVs, as well as on Amazon Fire TVs, Apple TV, Samsung smart TVs, Google TV and other Android TV OS devices.[6][7][8][24] In September 2023, Variety stated that the Roku Channel was offering nearly 350 linear streaming channels, more than 80,000 TV shows and movies, and access to premium content, while reporting on the removal of "select titles" from the Roku Channel.[5]

References edit

  1. ^ a b Roettgers, Janko (September 6, 2017). "Roku Veers Into Programming With Launch of Ad-Supported Movie Channel". Variety. Archived from the original on July 30, 2022. Retrieved March 23, 2022.
  2. ^ Lacoma, Tyler (2022-11-03). "What is The Roku Channel? Content, cost, and how to use it". Digital Trends. Archived from the original on 2023-02-10. Retrieved 2023-02-10.
  3. ^ a b Spangler, Todd (2023-02-15). "Roku Revenue Flat in Q4, Roku Channel Climbs to Reach 100 Million U.S. Viewers". Variety. Retrieved 2023-11-28.
  4. ^ a b Porter, Rick (2023-06-20). "Roku Channel Breaks Into Monthly TV Platform Rankings". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2023-11-28.
  5. ^ a b Spangler, Todd (2023-09-07). "Roku Channel Content Removals Will Target Originals That Aren't Attracting New Viewers". Variety. Retrieved 2023-11-28.
  6. ^ a b c Katzmaier, David (2018-08-08). "Free movies and TV shows on Roku are now even easier to find". CNET. Retrieved 2023-11-28.
  7. ^ a b c Hayes, Dade (2023-08-15). "NBCUniversal And Roku Strengthen FAST Ties, Adding Channels For 'Murder She Wrote,' 'Little House On The Prairie' And Other Classic And Nostalgia Titles". Deadline. Retrieved 2023-11-28.
  8. ^ a b "The Roku Channel is now available as a Google TV app". Digital Trends. 2023-07-12. Retrieved 2023-11-28.
  9. ^ Strange, Adario (2017-09-06). "Roku rolls out its own TV channel, pitting it against the very apps that call its box home". Mashable. Retrieved 2023-11-28.
  10. ^ Perez, Sarah (October 11, 2017). "Roku's new channel with free movies and TV goes live for all". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on January 23, 2022. Retrieved March 23, 2022.
  11. ^ Roettgers, Janko (2017-09-29). "Roku CEO Anthony Wood Talks IPO, Advertising and the Future of Streaming (Q&A)". Variety. Retrieved 2023-11-28.
  12. ^ Binder, Matt (2018-08-09). "Now you don't even need a Roku box to watch the Roku Channel". Mashable. Retrieved 2023-11-29.
  13. ^ a b Perez, Sarah (August 8, 2018). "Roku's free, ad-supported streaming channel is now live on the web". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on October 23, 2022. Retrieved March 23, 2022.
  14. ^ Porter, Jon (2020-04-06). "Roku's free ad-supported streaming service is coming to the UK". The Verge. Retrieved 2023-11-28.
  15. ^ Porter, Jon (January 8, 2021). "Quibi's library will live on through the Roku Channel". The Verge. Archived from the original on September 11, 2022. Retrieved March 23, 2022.
  16. ^ Mullin, Benjamin; Flint, Joe (January 8, 2021). "Roku Acquires Rights to Quibi's Content". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on August 21, 2022. Retrieved March 23, 2022.
  17. ^ Keck, Catie (April 21, 2021). "Roku Wisely Rebrands Its Soon-to-Debut Quibi Haul as 'Roku Originals'". Gizmodo. Archived from the original on July 16, 2022. Retrieved March 23, 2022.
  18. ^ Szalai, Georg (2022-10-13). "The Roku Channel Launches in Mexico". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2023-11-29.
  19. ^ Petski, Denise (2023-04-27). "Charlie Collier's Pay Tops $53 Million At Roku In 2022". Deadline. Retrieved 2023-11-28.
  20. ^ Goldsmith, Jill (2022-08-03). "Roku Channel Adds Paramount+ To Subscription Offerings". Deadline. Retrieved 2023-12-01.
  21. ^ Welch, Chris (2019-01-28). "Roku launches premium subscriptions for Showtime, Starz, and other services today". The Verge. Retrieved 2023-12-01.
  22. ^ "HBO is available as a premium add-on through the Roku Channel". Engadget. 2019-04-04. Retrieved 2023-12-01.
  23. ^ Spangler, Todd (2022-11-03). "AMC Expands Roku Deal, Adding 11 Free Streaming Channels to Roku Channel". Variety. Retrieved 2023-12-01.
  24. ^ Shakir, Umar (2023-07-12). "The Roku Channel is now streaming on Google TV". The Verge. Retrieved 2023-07-12.

External links edit