Another challenger has entered the OTT TV arena.
Roku, the creator of the Roku Streaming Player, is launching its first 24/7 channel on its recently launched ad-supported video on demand streaming service, The Roku Channel. The channel, which comes from ABC news, is the first of several linear networks that are headed to the service. In addition to a dedicated channel from the Disney-owned broadcaster, is Cheddar, People TV, and “others,” according to the company.
“We built The Roku Channel so it’s easy to navigate, offers great content and brings real value to our customers,” said Rob Holmes, Vice President of Programming, Roku. “Today, we’re working with some of the industry’s most forward-looking news organizations such as ABC News, Cheddar, People TV, and others, to deliver yet another customer-requested feature to The Roku Channel – live and linear news. ABC News has been at the forefront of producing and delivering live news for OTT viewing and we’re excited to have them on-board as one of our anchor news partners.”
The Roku Channel, which launched in September of last year, was created to open up new opportunities for the company to generate revenue other than selling streaming hardware, which is where a majority of its cash comes from. The push into linear programing now puts Roku in competition with not only AVOD services like Crackle and Tubi TV, but with free OTT TV services like Pluto TV, which offers more than 100 linear channels. While The Roku Channel is a long way off from housing 100+ linear channels, the move foreshadows a larger play for the service, which is now a top #15 channel on the Roku platform as well as the #3 ad-supported channel.