Roku’s reported plans to directly sell subscriptions for multiple premium video services such as Epix, Starz, Showtime, and others via its Roku Channel are kicking off on Monday, The Verge reported.
According to the news report, customers will be enabled to pay the monthly subscription charges through their current Roku account that keeps everything on one bill, while content from each provider can be accessed with the Roku Channel.
Roku’s approach is similar to the paid add-on channels including CBS All Access, Showtime, and HBO that Amazon.com offers to its Prime Video users. The company that pioneered streaming for the TV thinks users might find the new approach to be a more convenient subscription manager as it does not need ay recurring membership. In addition, each service providing a subscription will offer a free 30-day trail. Unfortunately, Roku doesn’t have HBO among its partners, and therefore users have to get or pay for that one elsewhere.
According to the company, premium subscriptions will begin rolling out from Monday in the United States and all the supported devices ranging from Roku Players to Roku TVs will receive the new update in the coming weeks.
By launching the Roku Channel from the Roku device, users can check if their device can access the Premium Subscriptions, the company explained. If the device has received the update, the users will be to see a new row called ‘Premium Subscriptions’ below the Featured row.
Apart from the company’s streaming device, the Roku Channel is available on Samsung Smart TVs and via the web. It is also being integrated with Roku’s main mobile app, making it a bit faster to access those subscriptions as well as the existing free content.
The update for iOS will come into force on Monday, while Android users will have to wait till mid-February. In addition to the new Premium Subscriptions, the company’s ad-supported channel will continue to provide free access to several movies and TV shows to users who signed up for a Roku account. Roku says it is currently streaming more than 10,000 movies and TV shows.