Sling TV Adds Free Tier, While Updating App with Improved Search & Binge Mode
Sling TV announced a new free tier that will allow anyone to access free TV shows and movies, as well as subscribe to PPV evens and OTT subscriptions.
While they launched the feature for ex-Sling subscribers in July, the company announced today that they expanded it to anyone with their Roku App. If you’re not a Sling subscriber, now when you install the app you can enter Guest Mode to access ad-supported TV content or purchase OTT services.
Free ad-supported content and subscription management has become popular amongst streaming services. Sling is going head-to-head against Amazon and Roku on the feature.
Amazon just last week added free ad-supported content to their service with a channel called IMDB FreeDive. This supplements their OTT subscription service Amazon channels which has quietly become a nearly $2B business for them.
Roku has an ad-supported channel called The Roku Channel. The company recently announced that they would start allowing subscribers to purchase premium subscriptions directly on their Roku devices.
New Search & Binge Watching Features
The company also added improved search functionality and a binge watching mode to some of their TV apps.
Now, when you go to the Search screen, you will see Popular Searches to quickly browse through the most searched-for content each day. Once you start searching, results are now sorted into categories like Top Results, Movies, Shows, and Channels*.
The new search experience is available on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV devices.
For Roku users, they also rolled out a new binge-watching mode that is similar to Netflix. When finishing an episode, the next episode will begin playing automatically so you don’t have to search for it. They expect to roll this out on other streaming devices in the near future.