In this day and age, everything seems to be available online, especially media such as movies and TV shows. In this corner of the internet, the kings that rule are the streaming services such as the ubiquitous Netflix and its competitors such as Hulu, Amazon Prime and even YouTube Red. But there are more services that are entering the streaming battleground despite the dominance of some big names. One of them is Roku Inc., a company that started in 2002 with digital media players until going streaming with The Roku Channel, which will now be available online and in mobile.
According to The Verge, Roku has decided to dance with the big boys by making its ad-supported movie streaming service The Roku Channel available over the net on a website and as a downloadable app on smartphones and tablet computers. This is a step forward from the original iteration of the service, which could only be accessed on Roku streaming devices or on internet TVs with Roku installed. Roku made the big announcement on Wednesday, August 8, making The Roku Channel available for US territories.
Streaming media hunters interested in what The Roku Channel has to offer need only to visit TheRokuChannel.com to create an account. From there it becomes smooth sailing – no paid subscriptions or fees, and no complex login procedures. The Roku Channel instantly makes available their respectable library of films. They are old films now likely cataloged by their production studios such as Warner Bros., Paramount, Lionsgate and Sony Pictures, full of blockbusters from the late nineties and 2000s across a nice spectrum of genres to boot. The Roku Channel will also include a “Featured Free” selection that will sneak in some in-season episodes of currently-airing TV series, as free as the films on its regular library.
For the moment the Roku Channel website and mobile app are fairly fundamental in design will little to no frills on the side. It does however serve an alternative purpose aside from its free movie offerings. The service after all is supported by ads, and more users singing up for The Roku Channel means more accounts to target advertising to. The Roku Channel will also feature live news programs from some of the company’s network partners, from PeopleTV to the major names like ABC News. About the only shortcoming with Roku right now is that it is US-exclusive for now.
Image courtesy of Roku