For years, Roku has been known for its flowing boxes and sticks, but it is slowly changing, as the company invests more in streaming services. It started with The Roku Channel, and now it grows into something more.
Roku Channel, which originally offered access to free, ad-supported movies and shows through Roku devices, knocked out of the box and entered the browser in August last year. Roku has obviously seen success with this model, because now it is growing in a big way.
First, you now get access to The Roku Channel on both iOS and Android devices, dramatically increasing channel availability and usability. All the same content will be together for the journey at no cost ̵1; you just need a Roku account.
In addition, the company announced this morning that it would also start offering access to premium subscription channels such as HBO as part of The Roku Channel. This means that users will be able to add multiple services to their Roku accounts, pay them all on an invoice and look at them in one and the same way. This rivals what Amazon does as part of its Prime Video package, or services that Sling has done this year.
The biggest difference here is that Roku Channel does not require any form of subscription in the first place. Amazon requires Prime membership before offering additional services, and television providers such as Sling, of course, require users to be registered for their service in the first place. As far as I can tell, Roku is the first service to bundle premium subscriptions in a different app.
This is clearly a power movement of the company and a smart one on it. Lots of users already have access to content on The Roku Channel, of which I am sure I do not have access to any other streaming service. This makes it easy for them to package extra services.
Roku Channel is available today on iOS and Android devices as part of the Roku app, with premium subscriptions coming out later in the month.
via The Roku Blog