Enlarge / The Roku Channel on the Net on an iPhone.

The Roku Channel, a platform for streaming TV and flicks, is now out there on the Net in america. Beforehand solely out there on streaming operating Roku software program, the channel gives a free, ad-supported library.

Roku launched this channel on operating Roku OS in October 2017 as a primary step in providing content material of its personal after years of positioning itself as a impartial platform via which Amazon, Netflix, and others might supply their content material. Roku licensed largely films which can be greater than 10 years outdated from studios like Warner Bros. and Sony Footage, and the library nonetheless has that character for right this moment’s Net portal launch: the top-billed objects on the homepage are at present the three Matrix movies from 1999 and 2003.

Beginning earlier this yr, Roku started streaming reside channels from third events like ABC and Cheddar, and people are additionally out there within the Net model.

Whereas the library does not impress, the value does: most choices for streaming films on-line require a subscription price, however The Roku Channel is free. As an alternative of establishing recurring bank card funds, you will be watching advertisements throughout your movies, so it is much like watching films on broadcast TV—albeit with the person knowledge assortment mannequin now frequent for a lot of Web providers. You need to create a free Roku account to view the channel’s content material. If you have already got one that you just arrange on a Roku gadget beforehand, you’ll be able to simply log in to that.

Roku additionally introduced right this moment that it’ll roll out a brand new “Featured Free” part to the house screens on Roku units. The corporate says the part will start showing on units within the US “within the coming weeks,” beginning right this moment. Roku says the part “consists of the newest in-season episodes, full past-season catch-ups, and extra.” This part might spotlight content material from The Roku Channel, however it’ll additionally embody exhibits and movies from third-party channels that supply some programming without cost, like The CW, Freeform, Crackle, and ABC.

The part will launch with episodes of ABC’s The Bachelorette and The CW’s The 100, amongst others. Roku will replace the part with a curated collection of new content material because it turns into out there.

Enlarge / The Featured Free part of the Roku homepage on a Roku TV.


Roku’s platform-agnostic, affordability-focused technique has introduced the corporate success to this point. Its second monetary quarter confirmed 57-percent development over the identical quarter a yr prior, and its inventory hit an all-time excessive. The corporate instructed traders that it added 22 million accounts in the course of the quarter.

When reviewing Roku’s newest high-end streaming packing containers, we favored the and located the software program simple to make use of, and we favored the platform’s agnostic place within the market. However the trade-off is the user-data-oriented promoting mannequin. That very same mannequin applies to the channel on the Net. Nonetheless, if that does not hassle you and also you wish to discover a random film to observe on-line with out spending a dime, the brand new Net portal is value trying out.


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