After racking up viewers with free movies and TV shows, Roku is expanding its popular Roku Channel to include premium content providers. The update, which was announced earlier this month, adds support for more than 25 subscription services including Starz, Showtime and Epix. Roku is starting the roll out of the update today, bringing it first to Roku players. It will reach all supported devices over the next few weeks, with Roku TVs planned to be the last to receive the update.
With the new support for premium content, subscription channels will appear within the Roku Channel's existing library of more than 10,000 free, ad-supported movies and TV shows. Roku users can browse content from the premium services, start free trials and sign up for a subscription all through the Roku Channel. Once a user signs up for a subscription service, that content will appear sprinkled in with the free content. The idea is to make sure peope don't have to hop over to another app or leave Roku's ecosystem in order to watch their favorite shows and movies.
In addition to supporting premium services, Roku also announced that the Roku Channel will finally be available through Roku mobile apps. The Roku Channel will first arrive for iOS via an update available today. Android devices are expected to gain access to the Roku Channel starting in mid-February.