Roku has announced that its free Roku Channel is adding live, linear news programming from ABC News, Cheddar, and People TV.
The ad-supported Roku Channel is a quick way for new owners of the popular streaming devices to find free content. No, it doesn’t have new releases or a very comprehensive collection, but if you’ve already browsed Netflix or Amazon Video on a Sunday morning and come up empty, there’s always a chance you’ll find a very random movie worth watching.
And it seems a fair number of people are doing just that. Roku says the Roku Channel is among the top 15 streaming apps on the platform and is in third place for ad-supported channels.
Aside from live news, the Roku Channel is also adding curated movie collections, so you’ll have an easier time wading through the selection to find similar titles. And you’ll also notice a new “continue watching” row for quickly getting back to something you’ve already hit play on. Should that have existed already? Yes, definitely. But that’s just a trade-off you make with a service that’s free to watch if you can put up with the ads.
Roku has also announced that its upcoming Roku OS 8.1 update (due in May) will allow multiple users at once to privately listen to audio from whatever’s streaming on the TV by using the Roku mobile app.