The channel is up and running on iOS; Android devices will get it in mid-February. Anyone signing up for the premium networks before March 31 will get a 30-day free trial, the company said. One notable carve-out at launch is HBO, which is not among the networks being offered.
With 23.8 million active users, Roku has become a formidable player in the streaming wars, enabling many viewers to assemble their own bundles once they ditch their pay-TV subscriptions.
“We’ve made subscription streaming easy for our customers and are putting them in control. Now there is one place on the Roku platform where users can seamlessly access both free and premium entertainment, with one click sign-up, easy subscription management and a single monthly bill,” said Rob Holmes, VP of Programming and Engagement.
In addition to the three major pay-TV services, the Roku Channel has more than 25 premium offerings, including Magnolia Selects, Noggin, Shout! Factory TV, Tastemade, Lifetime Movie Club and College Humor’s Dropout. Roku said more partners will be added as the channel grows.
Similar to Amazon Channels, which has become a prized pipeline for subscription networks, the Roku Channel offers an easy-to-navigate interface and a single monthly bill for subscriptions.
The company also said sign-up and web streaming are available via supported web browsers, offering customers an alternative way of watching premium entertainment when they are not at home. The Roku Channel can also be viewed via the Roku mobile app on iOS devices, with Android rolling out in phases beginning in mid-February.