Roku expands availability of its free streaming channel and sets sights on more global reach

The ad-supported Roku Channel is now available via web browsers. (Roku)

Roku today announced expanded availability of its free, ad-supported streaming channel, which can now be accessed via browsers on PCs, smartphones and tablets.

“We want to be the best destination for free streaming entertainment. We’re delighted to deliver even more value to our customers without subscriptions, complicated logins or fees,” said Rob Holmes, Roku’s vice president of programming and engagement, in a statement. “By expanding The Roku Channel to the Web, we’re broadening the access points to high-quality, free streaming entertainment.”

The company is also adding a Feature Free section to its Roku platform homepage to highlight content from The Roku Channel, ABC, The CW, CW Seed, Fox, Freeform, Pluto TV, Sony Crackle and Tubi.

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During the company’s earnings call on Wednesday, Roku CEO Anthony Wood said the company plans to keep expanding availability of its free streaming channel.

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“We plan to expand to more geographical regions. So, for example, we recently announced we’re entering Canada. And then we plan to keep adding more content categories, particularly long-form content. So, for example, we added news recently. So, we’re making good progress on that strategy,” Wood said, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript.

Roku’s focus on expanding its channel comes as the company’s strategy to shift attention away from its device business and toward its platform business continues to gain momentum. During the most recent quarter, Roku’s platform business grew revenues 96% year over year to reach about $90 million. The company said that advertising was the biggest driver of that growth.

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