Roku and Samsung revealed Friday that The Roku Channel app will be added this summer to the library of services available on select Samsung branded smart TVs.

The Roku Channel is an ad-supported movie and television program streaming service offering free-to-view content in one easy to use and search location. Earlier this month Roku also added an assortment of live and on-demand news through an assortment of news service app partners including ABC News, People TV, and Newsy.

Roku has said that since the launch of The Roku Channel late last year, it has become a top 20 channel on the platform, and is a key attraction for the growing population of cord cutters looking to cut down on their cable and satellite TV bills.

Although fare carried by the channel is ad supported, Roku said its content runs approximately half the advertising per programming hour compared to traditional linear TV. The selection features both older and less-known titles along with recent box off winners like Whiplash.

“Roku has always been a leader in offering free entertainment options for our customers, and we’re excited to extend The Roku Channel to select Samsung TV customers,” Roku said in a blog statement on its web site announcing the move.

“The Roku Channel has been a tremendous success giving our customers the free content they desire,” said Scott Rosenberg, Roku platform business general manager. “By broadening our distribution of  this app to other platforms such as Samsung, the No. 1 TV maker in the U.S., we are able to engage millions more consumers with free ad-supported entertainment.”

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The arrangement marks the first collaboration of any kind between Roku, the leading provider of streaming media adapters and Samsung a world leader in smart TV sales and marketing. Roku also offers an operating system for license to TV markers such as TCL, Hisense, Insignia, Hitachi, Philips/Funai and others. It’s easy to use and navigate system has become popular in entry and mid-range TV assortments.

Samsung, however, produces and implements smart TVs based on its own Tizen OS, which is rated as one of the most robust platforms in the television market, so it’s unlikely the two would stretch the relationship into that space.

Meanwhile, TCL, which is making strong market share gains behind its lines of TVs carrying the Roku TV OS, said it is running a one-day sale Saturday (May 12th) with Best Buy, slashing $100 off the price of the popular 55-inch P-series TCL 4K Ultra HD Roku TV. The offer will be carried in Best Buy stores and on Best

The 55-inch P605 model is being offered for $499.99 and features support for HDR10 and Dolby Vision HDR, 72 LED zone local dimming, a wide color gamut enabled through the use of advanced phosphor-coated LEDs.

It also carries the popular Roku streaming platform with access to more than 5,000 streaming channels, including The Roku Channel.


By Greg Tarr


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