Roku Launches Channel for Kids, Partners With Lionsgate, Mattel
Set-top box and connected TV platform Roku continues to expand its free ad-supported viewing options with the debut of the Kids and Family channel, available today. The channel offers over 7,000 TV shows and movies from 20 partners including Lionsgate, Mattel, All Spark (a Hasbro Company), DHX Media, Happy Kids TV, and Moonbug. Titles available at launch include Care Bears, The Cat in the Hat, and My Little Pony.
While the channel has ads, Roku says it includes only 40% of the advertising time of traditional linear TV. Lego Systems is on board as the channel's first sponsor.
Content from some premium subscriptions is available inside the Kids and Family channel to subscribers. That means households that subscribe to services including HBO, Noggin, or Starz will be able to see shows such as Bubble Guppies, Dora the Explorer, and PAW Patrol inside the channel alongside the ad-supported selections, making it easier for young viewers to find the shows they enjoy.
Also starting today, the Roku Channel includes parental controls. Parents can enable restrictions so young viewers won't be able to see more mature content from other parts of the channel. Content can be blocked by rating and accessed with a PIN.
Roku added entertainment and sports options to the Roku Channel in November 2018.
Today, Roku announces the Roku Smart Soundbar and Roku Wireless Subwoofer, both of which work with any TV to create a more immersive home theater experience.
Why focus on streaming video ad sales exclusively when many networks offer combined linear and streaming buys? Because eventually all TV ads will be streamed, Tetra believes.
Advertisers will be able to target likely prospects at scale, buy OTT ads programmatically, and measure the results. The partnership could be a win for Adobe, Roku, and even the viewers.
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.
As Roku transitions from hardware to advertising, creating content partnerships is crucial. Viewers now have more free options to watch.