It's been well over two years since Roku launched The Roku Channel, offering a wide range of video content for free, supported by ads. Since then, the channel has expanded, adding live news and some premium channels offering additional paid content, but it has remained exclusive to users in the United States. That is, until today.
Roku has announced that it's bringing The Roku Channel to customers in the UK in Roku players, Roku TV, NOW TV devices, and Sky Q boxes, and it's available starting today. The newly-launched channel will only offer free ad-supported content for now, counting over 10,000 TV episodes, movies, and documentaries.
Commenting on the launch, Rob Holmes, vice president of programming at Roku, said:
“With The Roku Channel we are making it easy for consumers to find great free entertainment and provide additional value to Roku users, NOW TV device holders and Sky Q customers (...). Ad-supported viewing is one of the fastest growing categories on our platform and we are excited to meet the consumer demand for free TV.”
The content on The Roku Channel in the UK comes from over 40 partners including All3Media International and EndemolShine group, plus some Hollywood content from studios such as Lionsgate and Sony Pictures Television. More partners are expected to be added over time. Movies available include Les Miserables, Get Carter, and The Wicker Man. British TV series like Homes Under the Hammer and The Commander are also available.
In therms of features, The Roku Channel offers personalized recommendations and search capabilities to help users find what they're looking for, including a section dedicated to content for children. The content in this section is "hand-picked" to ensure it's suitable for kids, and it also features a character row to make it easier to find content focused on a specific character.