Roku Takes on Pluto TV and XUMO with Launch of 100+ Live Channels & Live TV Channel Guide on The Roku Channel
While originally designed as a way to access free on-demand content, over the last year, The Roku Channel has expanded to include more linear content from partners like Tastemade, ABC News, Cheddar, Stadium and TMZ. Now, the wants to expand and simplify how streamers can access that live and linear content.
Starting today, The Roku Channel is expanding to cover more than 100 linear channels (a selection is below) and introducing a new Live TV Channel Guide. The on-screen guide will help you find exactly what you want to watch and see what’s upcoming on the channels. To access it, just visit “The Roku Channel” and select “Live TV Channel Guide.”
Once you select a linear channel, you can quickly channel surf between them, as well as bring up an on-screen overly to see what is currently airing. The feature will start rolling out to both Roku streaming players and Roku TV devices today and to all users over the coming weeks.
“Now more than ever it’s important for our users to have easy access to free content, such as news, and the ability to find it quickly,” said Ashley Hovey, Director, AVOD Growth, Roku. “We’re excited to enhance the streaming experience through a Live Channel TV Guide and bring more free content from The Roku Channel to the forefront.”
The set of channels cover everything from news to sports to kids — and for the first time includes Spanish-language content.
Interestingly, some of the channels are from platforms that you would expect them to be competing with, namely Pluto TV (e.g. Comedy Central Pluto TV, BET Pluto TV, MTV Pluto TV) and XUMO (e.g. Ameba, Battery Pop, Adventure Sports Network). However, they do not have the complete set of channels from either of those platforms.
One has to wonder though, will new streamers default to The Roku Channel over downloading a separate app, like choosing Apple Maps over Google Maps?
Some of the newly launched networks come from brands like A+E, with streaming channels Lively Place and Crime 360. Mark Garner, EVP, A+E Networks said of The Roku Channel:
“As consumer options for content continue to expand, Roku has met audience demand by growing their platform in smart ways that make it easy for users to discover new content.”
Roku says that The Roku Channel saw greater than 100% growth (year-over-year) in streaming hours across their more than 100,000 titles, reaching an estimated 36 million people.
In comparison, just last month, Pluto TV, which was acquired by ViacomCBS last year shared that they had 24 million active users in the first quarter and hopes to reach 30 million by the end of the year.
Tubi, the free streaming service recently acquired by Fox, announced that their over 25 million monthly active users have been watching over 200 million hours of content. Xumo, which was acquired by Comcast and is helping to power Peacock’s linear streams, last said they had 5.5 million users last year.
The Roku Channel Linear Channels
ABC News Live, Black News Channel, Cheddar, Newsmax TV, NowThis, Reuters, Top Stories by Newsy, USA TODAY, WeatherNation, Yahoo Finance and more
Adventure Sports Network powered by XUMO, ACC Digital Network, beIN SPORTS Xtra, EDGEsport, ESTV, fubo Sports Network, MAVTV Select, Outside TV, Stadium and more
Movies and TV
Crime360, FilmRise Action, FilmRise Classic TV, FilmRise Family, FilmRise Free Movies, Gravitas Movies, Redbox Free Movies, Voyager Documentaries, and more
Kids & Family
Ameba powered by XUMO, Battery Pop powered by XUMO, Kid Gamer TV from Studio71, Kid Genius powered by XUMO, KIDZ BOP TV, pocket.watch, Teletubbies, Toon Googles, TG Junior, Rainbow Ruby, Zoomoo and more
A+E Lively Place, The Bob Ross Channel, Bon Appétit, Condé Nast Traveler, The Design Network, DIY Daily, Food52, Glamour, GQ, Love Nature, Revry, This Old House, Vanity Fair, Vogue and more
AFV Español, América TeVé, Latido Music, Love Nature Español, MOOVIEMEX by Pongalo, and Pongalo NovelaClub