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Roku offers free streaming service
August 15, 2018, 3:20 pm

Roku announced last week that its free, ad-supported streaming service, The Roku Channel, is now available on the web for viewing on PCs, tablets, and smartphones. Prior to today, users only had access to the channel if they had a Roku TV or streaming device.

After creating a Roku account on, you can start streaming the movies, TV shows, and short videos that the service offers. Among the free movies available on the Roku Channel are films from Paramount, Sony Pictures, Lionsgate, and Warner Bros. The catalog of free movies features mainly the older ones from these studies, such as The Matrix, 50 First Dates, Nacho Libre, and Wayne’s World 2. There is also now live news from ABC News, Newsy, PeopleTV, and Cheddar, among other partners. At the moment the offerings, features and design are all pretty threadbare, but nevertheless it is an easy way of finding something very random to watch.

Roku is also adding a new ‘Featured Free’ section to the top of its main menu, which aggregates shows and movies you can stream for free directly from its partners. This is similar to Apple’s TV app in that it puts a spotlight on the content itself rather than whatever network it is coming from. Roku is giving Featured Free some prime positioning as you will find it at the very top of the home screen when it makes its debut. In exchange for the free offering, Roku hopes to increase the number of user accounts that would allow it to grow its ad business. 


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