The Roku Channel
Logo for Roku Channel as of 2023
DeveloperRoku, Inc.
Key peopleAnthony Wood, Charlie Collier
TypeOver-the-top media service
Launch date
  • September 2017; 6 years ago (2017-09)
Platform(s)Streaming devices: Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast with Google TV, Android TV, Samsung smart TVs

Web: browsers running on PCs, smartphones and tablets
StatusActive (USA, Canada, the U.K., Mexico)
Members100 million viewers
Pricing model Free ad-supported streaming television (FAST)

The Roku Channel is an over-the-top VOD streaming service owned and operated by Roku, Inc. Launched in September 2017,[1][2] the service is offered in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Mexico. It reaches 100 million U.S. viewers according to Roku,[3] and gathers 1.1% of all U.S. TV use as of 2023.[4]

The Roku Channel offers nearly 350 linear streaming channels, more than 80,000 TV shows and movies, and access to premium content.[5] The service can be streamed using streaming devices and smart TVs from Roku as well as other providers,[6][7][8] or using web browsers running on PCs, tablets or smartphones.[9]


Launch in North America

The Roku Channel was launched in September 2017 as a free, ad-supported streaming television service ("FAST"),[1][10] available to viewers in the U.S.[11] Roku's CEO Anthony Wood stated in the same month that the channel was a "way for content owners to publish their content on Roku without writing an app".[12] By August 2018, the channel had expanded to Canada,[6] and a website version of the service was launched, allowing it to be accessed via any web browser.[9][13] In August 2018, the Roku Channel was also reported to have inked content licensing deals with Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Lionsgate, Disney, and Paramount Pictures. Additionally, the service offered content from existing partners including American Classics, FilmRise, Nosey, OVGuide, Popcornflix, Vidmark, and YuYu.[13]

Expansion into the U.K., Mexico

April 2020 saw the launch of the Roku Channel in the U.K.[14] In January 2021, Roku announced that it had acquired the original content library of the defunct mobile video service Quibi for an undisclosed amount, reported to be around $100 million, for availability on the Roku Channel.[15][16] The content was rebranded as Roku Originals.[17] In August 2021, the Roku Channel was reported to add CBC, AccuWeather Now, FilmRise True Crime, Haunt TV, and IGN for free streaming.[18]

By March 2022, the Roku Channel included news services such as ABC News, Bloomberg, Cheddar, NBC News, Newsy, People TV, Reuters, USA Today, WeatherNation, and Yahoo Finance, all available for free streaming.[19][20][21] In October 2022, the channel was launched in Mexico.[22] According to Deadline Hollywood, October 2022 also saw Charlie Collier, previously the CEO of Fox Entertainment, join Roku as the President of Roku Media to manage ad platform business and content for the Roku Channel and more.[23] By the end of 2022, the Roku Channel was offering premium subscriptions for over 50 services including Discovery+, Paramount+,[24] MGM+, Showtime, Starz,[25] HBO,[26] AMC+, Shudder and Acorn TV.[27] Moreover, the Roku Channel was reaching U.S. households with a total population of 100 million, in Roku's estimates.[3][7]

Further development

In February 2023, BGR reported that Roku announced the addition of nearly 2000 hours of on-demand content to the Roku Channel. This content included offerings from HBO, HBO Max, Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Warner Bros. Pictures, and Warner Bros. Television. Moreover, this content would be available to stream for free.[28] In a separate report, The Hollywood Reporter highlighted May 2023 Nielsen data indicating that the Roku Channel gathered 1.1% of all U.S. TV use. This figure tied with NBCUniversal’s Peacock, and trailed YouTube at 8.5% and Netflix at 7.9%.[4]

In August 2023, it was reported that the Roku Channel was adding several NBCUniversal services as free, ad-supported options. These included NBC News Now, Dateline, Today All Day, NBC local stations, regional Telemundo news channels, Universal Action, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Sky News International, The Rotten Tomatoes Channel, and a Universal Crime channel.[7][29][30] Further, the Roku Channel became available on Google TV and other Android TV OS devices, in addition to Roku-branded streaming devices and smart TVs, Amazon Fire TVs, Apple TV, and Samsung smart TVs.[6][8][31] Moreover, a report by Variety in September 2023 stated that the Roku Channel offered nearly 350 linear streaming channels, more than 80,000 TV shows and movies, and access to premium content.[5]


Free, ad-supported channels

A partial list of channels made available by the Roku Channel to stream for free with ad support is categorized as follows:

Premium subscriptions

The Roku Channel offers premium subscriptions for various services including Discovery+, Paramount+,[24] HBO,[26] MGM+, Showtime, Starz,[25] Cinemax,[38] AMC+, Shudder, Acorn TV,[27] Fuse Plus,[39] and Vix Premium.[40]

Roku Originals

See also: List of The Roku Channel original programming

Roku Originals delivers free, ad-supported original content, including Spanish-language content, to users of the Roku Channel.[41][42] Content creation partners for Roku Originals include Cisley Saldaña, Liz Jenkins, Mariel Saldaña, Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, Rich Eisen, and “Weird Al” Yankovic.[43] Spanish-language content creation partners include Jennifer Lopez, Juanpa Zurita and Jaime Camil.[42]


  1. ^ a b Roettgers, Janko (September 6, 2017). "Roku Veers Into Programming With Launch of Ad-Supported Movie Channel". Variety. Archived from the original on July 30, 2022. Retrieved March 23, 2022.
  2. ^ Lacoma, Tyler (2022-11-03). "What is The Roku Channel? Content, cost, and how to use it". Digital Trends. Archived from the original on 2023-02-10. Retrieved 2023-02-10.
  3. ^ a b Spangler, Todd (2023-02-15). "Roku Revenue Flat in Q4, Roku Channel Climbs to Reach 100 Million U.S. Viewers". Variety. Retrieved 2023-11-28.
  4. ^ a b Porter, Rick (2023-06-20). "Roku Channel Breaks Into Monthly TV Platform Rankings". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2023-11-28.
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  6. ^ a b c Katzmaier, David (2018-08-08). "Free movies and TV shows on Roku are now even easier to find". CNET. Retrieved 2023-11-28.
  7. ^ a b c Hayes, Dade (2023-08-15). "NBCUniversal And Roku Strengthen FAST Ties, Adding Channels For 'Murder She Wrote,' 'Little House On The Prairie' And Other Classic And Nostalgia Titles". Deadline. Retrieved 2023-11-28.
  8. ^ a b "The Roku Channel is now available as a Google TV app". Digital Trends. 2023-07-12. Retrieved 2023-11-28.
  9. ^ a b Binder, Matt (2018-08-09). "Now you don't even need a Roku box to watch the Roku Channel". Mashable. Retrieved 2023-11-29.
  10. ^ Strange, Adario (2017-09-06). "Roku rolls out its own TV channel, pitting it against the very apps that call its box home". Mashable. Retrieved 2023-11-28.
  11. ^ Perez, Sarah (October 11, 2017). "Roku's new channel with free movies and TV goes live for all". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on January 23, 2022. Retrieved March 23, 2022.
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  13. ^ a b Perez, Sarah (August 8, 2018). "Roku's free, ad-supported streaming channel is now live on the web". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on October 23, 2022. Retrieved March 23, 2022.
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  21. ^ a b c Snider, Mike (2018-04-24). "Video streamer Roku will have ABC News Live as an anchor for its news content". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2023-12-02.
  22. ^ Szalai, Georg (2022-10-13). "The Roku Channel Launches in Mexico". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2023-11-29.
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  24. ^ a b Goldsmith, Jill (2022-08-03). "Roku Channel Adds Paramount+ To Subscription Offerings". Deadline. Retrieved 2023-12-01.
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