The Roku Channel

Roku today announced that The Roku Channel — the company's ad-supported channel that already gives free movies and TV — will soon provide access to premium subscription services.

This is in line with a report from mid-2018, which we summed up thusly: "If it sounds like Amazon Prime Video Channels, that's because it basically is." And that's pretty much what has been announced today. (Amazon Prime Video Channels, if you've yet to experience them, let you watch things like HBO directly from within the Amazon Prime Video ecosystem.)

More than 25 partners already are on board, Roku said in its press release, with Showtime, Starz and Epix among them. Other partners include Baeble Music, CollegeHumor's DROPOUT, CuriosityStream, FitFusion, The Great Courses Signature Collection, Hopster, Magnolia Selects presented by Magnolia Pictures, MHz Choice, NOGGIN, Smithsonian Channel Plus, Tastemade, and Viewster Anime.

The premium services all will have free trial periods of at least seven days, and you'll manage the subscriptions from within your existing Roku account.

Roku also announced that The Roku Channel will be available from Android and iOS devices for the first time, meaning that you'll no longer need a Roku TV or streaming player.

Premium subscriptions should hit The Roku Channel later this month. Same goes to updates to the mobile Roku app.

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