Roku launches free, ad-supported movie channel

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Roku is taking it up a notch by programming content on its own channel– the Roku Channel. The new channel launched today and is now available on all Roku devices.

How the new Roku Channel works

Roku signed licensing deals, which allows them to feature some of your favorite movies from major Hollywood studios like Lionsgate, MGM, and Warner Bros., according to Variety. Customers will also still be able to see content from the channel publishers that are already on Roku — American Classics, Nosey, Popcornflix, and OVGuide, for instance.

Roku has been focusing on increasing user numbers and continuing to grow its ad business ahead of its IPO, which the company announced last week.

How Roku is able to provide the free service

Roku CMO Matt Anderson told Variety, “There is a huge demand for free content”¦ Our customers are really interested in streaming free entertainment.”

The Roku Channel will be supported by ads that will be strategically placed according to the content you are watching — although the service is supported by ads, Roku wants to make watching ad-supported movies less painful than other streaming services on traditional TV, according to

“The main things we’re focused on is limiting the commercial breaks, and the timing and the placement,” Anderson said.

The company says the ad load on the Roku Channel will be about half that of the ads played on traditional TV.

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