Roku Expands Ad-Supported Options With Entertainment and Sports
Roku has again expanded the free content available in its ad-supported Roku Channel, this time with entertainment and sports options. Entertainment partners include TMZ, AFV, FailArmy, People Are Awesome, and Pet Collective. For sports, Roku offers live programming from Adventure Sports Network, Combat Go, EdgeSports, and Stadium.
This expansion is significant, because Roku is transitioning from a hardware device maker to a platform that gets much of its revenue from advertising. In its third-quarter earnings call last week, Roku reported it took in over $100 million from advertising and services that quarter, a first for the company. Revenue from hardware dropped by 9 percent, likely due to a consumer move away from set-top devices in favor of connected TVs with integrated streaming software.
The Roku Channel's news section is gaining a stream from The Young Turks. It recently added streams from Yahoo and Newsmax.
The Roku Channel debuted in September 2017. The company added live news feeds in April 2018.
In September, Roku introduced a $40 4K streaming device, the Premiere. For Black Friday, the company announced its $100 Roku Ultra will sell for $50. It's also creating a limited edition $20 Roku SE streaming player, which will be available only at Walmart.
Viewers and advertisers have one more option for free, ad-supported premium video, as Amazon's IMDb debuts Freedive.
Viewers will be able to trial and sign up for over 25 premium services on the Roku Channel, viewing content on a TV or mobile device.
The leading set-top box maker has released its first hardware accessory, and it's a must for anyone who's struggled to understand dialogue in a TV show.
The STB leader also announces two OS upgrades that add audio modes for easier listening, as well as new options when searching free content.
The Roku Channel is now available online through desktop and mobile browsers. Also, the Roku OS gains a navigation option for free shows and movies.
The ad-supported Roku Channel will gain live news feeds in May, as well private listening support for up to four devices per account.