Regular users of The Roku Channel on Roku streaming devices and similar products from manufacturer partners now have a new channel to help guide them to the week’s most popular programs from across the Roku streaming landscape.

Roku launched Thursday “Roku Recommends,” a 15-minute weekly entertainment program starring popular celebrities Maria Menounos, an Emmy Award winner who some might remember as the tech-celebrity guest at CES a few years ago, and Andrew “Hawk” Hawkins, a former NFL player.

Each week the show’s stars will be promoting some of the week’s “top five” “best bets and hidden gems” available to stream from the vastness of the Web as filtered through the Roku OS streaming platform. Roku said it will be using data collected from its large base of regular Roku viewers to help determine the most pertinent programs to highlight for its audience.

New programs will first appear every Thursday, starting today (June 3, 2021).

“Roku Recommends is the first production from the new Roku Brand Studio whose mission is to create advertiser-driven storytelling built for TV streaming,” the company announced.

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Roku has been building its utility and popularity among viewers and potential advertisers, alike, by beginning to generate a library of exclusive premiere movies and television shows, including original content, like Roku Recommends, all presented free of charge to viewers.

“According to Nielsen data, the average streamer spends more than seven minutes searching for what to watch next,” said Chris Bruss, Head of Roku Brand Studio. “We are uniquely positioned to use our trending data both to help consumers find incredible movies and shows and to help advertisers go beyond the traditional 30-second ad to entertain streamers who otherwise spend time in ad-free, subscription-only environments.”

Roku said it has enlisted a number of national sponsors to debut ads on the weekly program.

Not surprisingly, Walmart, a big Roku partner selling Roku products under the onn house brand, will be the leading national sponsor to debut advertising on the premiere episode of the weekly program.

Roku said it is using innovative metrics technology through the Roku Measurement Partner Program to help marketers “quantify whether their Roku Recommends integration reaches SVoD-only streamers, adds incremental reach to their video ad campaign, shifts perceptions of their brand, drives consumers into stores/websites, or moves product off the shelf.”

Roku Recommends can be found on The Roku Channel area of the Roku app interface. Roku Recommends is produced by Funny Or Die and is executive produced by Mike Farah, Beth Belew, and Jim Ziegler.

Roku said it ranks as “America’s No. 1 TV streaming platform,” based on hours streamed according to Hypothesis Group, April 2021.

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By Greg Tarr

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