Roku has been pretty busy so far since the beginning of the year, rolling out new channels, launching fresh original programming, and stoking chatter that Roku TVs might be on the way in the near future.
Among other things, the company is planning to spend big this year by way of reinvesting in the business — including via original content production — which comes on the heels of some unfortunate news. Roku’s last two quarterly earnings presentations to analysts were the only times since the company went public that it missed Wall Street analyst estimates. Supply chain disruptions were cited as part of the problem. Nevertheless, Roku is plowing ahead. Into content, and maybe even its own TV hardware.
On the content side, well, there’s already so much to watch thanks to the tens of thousands of TV shows and movies available via Roku Channel. Which, per Activate Consulting, is actually the fifth-most popular streamer. Not a bad showing, considering the gargantuan streamers that are just ahead of it in those rankings.
Additionally, meanwhile, the service has more than 200 live TV channels to offer its viewer base. Including a number of new channels available to enjoy now, for free, from The Roku Channel’s Live TV Guide. You can check out some of those new free just-added channels below, along with their descriptions from Roku. Plus some of our other favorite channels mixed into the list:
- Crime ThrillHer: Dive into the unimaginable with hair-raising thrillers, cautionary tales and ripped-from-the-headlines movies.
- Kin: Kin is the leader in celebrity-driven lifestyle programming for diverse women’s audiences.
- Plex: Plex is your home for free movies & TV, giving you access to 200+ Live TV Channels and 50,000+ on-demand titles from around the world … Thousands of free movies and TV shows from Oscar award-winning movies to cult classics, anime, documentaries, family-friendly shows, and much more from around the world.
- Crackle: Stream free Hollywood movies, TV series and originals on your favorite devices … Watch premium TV shows and movies from a full library of new and iconic hits. All on-demand, without a subscription.
More channels to enjoy
A few others to add to your list, if you haven’t already checked them out yet:
- BlackPix: Discover documentaries on social justice and inequality, performances and profiles of popular Black artists.
- Fox Weather: America’s Weather Team, bringing you updates on major weather events across the country.
- Vevo: There’s always something to enjoy on Vevo. From the freshest new videos and emerging artists, to your favorite throwbacks — it’s all there. How does Vevo’s music video experience work? Our team of music video experts adds new videos to Vevo every day. There are up to 100 themed channels, from genres and moods to essentials and the newest releases.
In other Roku news, meanwhile, the holiday quarter saw the company add 3.7 million active accounts to bring its full total of active users to 60.1 million.
Roku CEO Anthony Wood and CFO Steve Louden wrote in a letter to shareholders, published on Feb. 17, that the company in 2021 “remained the No. 1 selling Smart TV OS in the US, representing more than 1 in 3 Smart TVs sold. In the US, we announced with TCL the first model of an 8K Roku TV, which joined the critically acclaimed TCL 6-Series Roku TV models (“Best Smart TV Overall” by CNN) … We also announced a partnership with Sharp in which they will launch a series of HD and 4K Roku TV models in 2022.”
The company also made headlines in recent days for its reported interest in adding Roku-made TV hardware to its product lineup.
That’s according to a report in Insider, which quotes sources familiar with the company’s plans. One of them apparently participated in a Roku focus group, during which the company actually showed off different TV models with an assortment of features. And in different sizes, with a range of prices.
Another interesting tidbit from this new report? That Roku’s ambition for a TV set of its own also seems pretty well-established at this point. In fact, it’s something that’s reportedly been in the company’s planning for more than a year now.
Said one unnamed executive in the report: “The analysis has been done. They recognized that owning the last bit of branding made a lot of sense, particularly if you are going into content.”