Roku Channel busts out of its box with new streaming subscription deals

January 02, 2019

The Roku Channel is expanding beyond ad-supported programming into pay TV by offering subscriptions to networks like Showtime and Starz.

Roku announced on Wednesday that it would offer subscriptions to more than 25 video services, which viewers can access via its streaming channel.

The free Roku Channel, which debuted in September 2017, is filled with Hollywood movies, shows and live TV that come with advertising. The subscription packages would make paid programming, ad-free, available to stream from one main channel, with one bill, as opposed to subscribing to each service individually. It's a business model that Amazon has deployed through Amazon Prime, where viewers can subscribe to pay-TV channels like HBO, Showtime and CBS. Apple is also negotiating with media companies to provide subscription services through a one-stop channel on Apple TV.

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