|Key people||Anthony Wood, Charlie Collier|
|Type||Over-the-top media service|
|Platform(s)||Streaming devices: Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast with Google TV, Android TV, Roku, Samsung smart TVs|
Web: browsers running on PCs, smartphones and tablets
|Status||Active (USA, Canada, the U.K., Mexico)|
|Members||100 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, the service is offered in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Mexico. It reaches 100 million U.S. viewers in Roku's estimates, and reportedly gathers 1.1% of all U.S. TV use as of 2023.
The Roku Channel offers nearly 350 linear streaming channels, more than 80,000 TV shows and movies, and access to premium content. The channel is available on streaming devices and smart TVs from Roku as well as other providers.
The Roku Channel was launched in September 2017 as a free, ad-supported streaming television service ("FAST"),  available to viewers in the U.S. 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". By August 2018, the channel had expanded to Canada, and a website version of the service was launched, allowing it to be accessed via any web browser. 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.
April 2020 saw the launch of the Roku Channel in the U.K. 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. The content was rebranded as Roku Originals. In August 2021, the Roku Channel was reported to add CBC, AccuWeather Now, FilmRise True Crime, Haunt TV, and IGN for free streaming.
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. In October 2022, the channel was launched in Mexico. 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. By the end of 2022, the Roku Channel was offering premium subscriptions for over 50 services including Discovery+, Paramount+, MGM+, Showtime, Starz, HBO, AMC+, Shudder and Acorn TV. Moreover, the Roku Channel was reaching U.S. households with a total population of 100 million, in Roku's estimates.
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. 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%.
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. 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. 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.
A partial list of channels made available by the Roku Channel to stream for free with ad support is categorized as follows:
The Roku Channel offers premium subscriptions for various services including Discovery+, Paramount+, HBO, MGM+, Showtime, Starz, Cinemax, AMC+, Shudder, Acorn TV, Fuse Plus, and Vix Premium.
Roku Originals delivers free, ad-supported original content, including Spanish-language content, to users of the Roku Channel. Content creation partners for Roku Originals include Cisley Saldaña, Liz Jenkins, Mariel Saldaña, Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, Rich Eisen, and “Weird Al” Yankovic. Spanish-language content creation partners include Jennifer Lopez, Juanpa Zurita and Jaime Camil.