Roku to give direct access to more than 25 premium subscription services

Roku to launch premium video channels business

Roku to launch premium video channels business

Now Roku owners will be able to easily manage their subscriptions to services like SHOWTIME®, Starz, and EPIX through the Roku Channel on their Roku players and Roku TVs. Unfortunately, you won't be able to import an existing premium subscription into the Roku Channel. Roku says every premium channel will offer a free trial period of at least seven days, and they'll remind you before your trial period is up. "By making it easy for users to discover, subscribe to and watch Premium Subscriptions, we believe this offering will result in increased subscriptions and user engagement for our subscription partners and an even better user experience". "As a top five channel by active account reach, The Roku Channel is already a great source for free, ad-supported entertainment and provides significant user engagement".

Other premium channels available at launch include CuriosityStream, College Humor's Dropout and Noggin, with additional services poised to follow.

With its latest announcement, the company is positioning the channel as a key part of its business plan going forward. Typically, the middleman will take a cut of the subscription fee for referring new subscribers.

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Now Roku, which leads the connected TV market through its dongles, boxes and smart TV integrations, is betting it has the scale and targeting necessary to accomplish a similar goal.

The biggest difference here is that The Roku Channel doesn't require any sort of subscription in the first place. Like Amazon, Roku will handle the billing for these services, allowing viewers to subscribe directly from the Roku Channel instead of needing to go somewhere else to plug in credit card information. BMO Capital Markets estimates that Amazon generated $1.7 billion through Channels a year ago, and a report by TDG from May found that Amazon Channels accounted for more than half of direct-to-consumer subscriptions for premium TV channels.

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