Roku Monday launched its new Premium subscription service as part of its The Roku via a software update applied to all supporting Roku TVs and Roku streaming devices.

The Premium Subscription will let users browse, trial and subscribe to popular premium entertainment services within The Roku Channel. Those who sign up for EPIX, Showtime and Starz before March 31, will receive a 30-day free trial of those services on The Roku Channel (TRC), the company said.

Roku said supported devices in the United States will receive the TRC app update in the coming weeks, beginning with Roku players and concluding with Roku TVs. Customers can check if they’ve received the update by launching The Roku Channel and checking to find a new row called “Browse Premium Subscriptions” in the “Featured” row.

The Roku Channel, which to date has provided free ad-supported movies and TV programs to devices carrying the TRC app, is expanding the attraction of the service to cord cutters by offering viewers the opportunity to watch programs from premium cable channel services without the need to subscribe to full and often expensive cable or satellite TV programming service tiers. Most of the initial partner services deliver both popular recent box office hits and other movies as well as original series content.

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At the same time, Roku is providing access starting today to TRC directly from within the Roku mobile app on iOS devices. The update for Android devices is expected to begin to roll out in mid-February, the company said.

“We’ve made subscription streaming easy for our customers and are putting them in control. Now there is one place on the Roku platform where users can seamlessly access both free and premium entertainment, with one click sign-up, easy subscription management and a single monthly bill,” stated Rob Holmes, Roku Vice President, Programming and Engagement.

The new Premium Suscription service component to TRC will bring more than 25 premium partners. In addition to the services mentioned users will be able to subscribe to services including: Baeble Music; CollegeHumor’s DROPOUT; CuriosityStream; Fandor Spotlight; FitFusion; The Great Courses Signature Collection; Grokker; Hi-YAH!; Hopster; Lifetime Movie Club; DOX, LOLFlicks, Monsters and Nightmares, Magnolia Selects, and Warriors & Gangsters presented by Magnolia Pictures; MHz Choice; NOGGIN; Shout! Factory TV, Smithsonian Channel Plus; Stingray Karaoke; Tastemade; Viewster Anime; and ZooMoo. More partners are expected be added over time, Roku said.

In addition to accessing new subscription service apps, TRC provides access more than 10,000 free, ad-supported movies and TV episodes. The addition of premium service apps will give users an even easier way to find and use content affordably and comfortably in one location.

Users will only have to pay a single monthly bill for subscriptions, and will find easy to use account management through their supporting device. Customers can start a free trial or subscribe to new Premium Subscriptions by clicking on their existing Roku account information once they visit the subscription page.

Premium Subscriptions are only viewable within TRC.

In addition, starting today users can sign-up for TRC subscriptions and view content over the Web by using supported browsers, starting today. This will make it easy to view subscribed services on the go. To view Premium Subscriptions on The Roku Channel via the Web, click here.

Before beginning a subscription via the Web, Roku suggests users first check to make sure their device can currently access access Premium Subscriptions. The company said the Premium Subscriptions via The Roku Channel are not available for Samsung TVs.


By Greg Tarr


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