Roku makes some of our favorite streaming devices, and one of the reasons is the sheer amount of streaming services — Roku calls them “channels” — available on those devices. This includes a fair number of services like Sony Crackle, Pluto TV, and Tubi that let you watch movies and TV shows absolutely free of charge. The only problem is that it can often be difficult finding what you want to watch without browsing through all of the various services. Fortunately, that is changing.
On Wednesday, August 8, Roku announced a new addition to the home screen on Roku streaming devices and Roku TVs: The “Featured Free” section. As the name implies, this provides users with direct links to free movies and TV shows found on the channels mentioned above, but also plenty more including ABC, The CW, CW Seed, Fox, Freeform, and Roku’s own The Roku Channel. This section will include the latest in-season episodes of popular series, as well as full-season catch-ups of previous seasons.
Speaking of The Roku Channel, you’ll soon be able to watch this regardless of whether or not you even own any Roku hardware as starting today, the company is launching The Roku Channel for the Web. All you need to do is sign up for a free Roku account and you’ll be able to watch on devices including PCs, Macs, Chromebooks, smartphones, or tablets. The Roku Channel app has begun to roll out on select Samsung smart TVs starting today, and the company says it will continue to look for ways to bring the service to more hardware.
“Roku is the leading platform for free entertainment and our users love it. We’re delighted to deliver even more value to our customers without subscriptions, complicated logins or fees,” Roku Vice President of Programming and Engagement Rob Holmes said in a statement. “By expanding The Roku Channel to the Web, we’re broadening the access points to high-quality, free streaming entertainment. With Featured Free, we’re making it easy for our customers to see the great, free content already available on the Roku platform in one place, while creating value for our content providers by connecting them with Roku’s growing audience.”
The Featured Free section will begin rolling out in the U.S. today, though this is a phased rollout, so you may not see it right away. Roku says the rollout will happen over “the coming weeks,” so you shouldn’t have too long to wait.