Roku adds live TV guide as linear lineup passes 100 channels

Roku is adding a new live TV channel guide to its platform. (Roku)

Roku today is rolling out a new live TV guide on its platform in support of its now more than 100 linear channels in the U.S.

Beginning today, Roku is adding more than 30 new channels covering categories including news (ABC News, Reuters and more), sports (Stadium, Fubo Sports Network and more), entertainment (including several channels from ViacomCBS’s Pluto TV), kids and family (including, Kid Genius and more), lifestyle (including A+E Lively Place, The Bob Ross Channel and more) and Spanish-language (including Latido Music, Pongalo NovelaClub and more).

Along with the new channels, Roku is also adding a live channel guide that will be accessible through a new Live TV tile within the Roku Channel. The guide can also be reached by pressing left after launching content.

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The guide will display what content is coming for up to 12 hours and will let users toggle between viewing all channels or recent channels. Live channels on Roku will now also include informational overlays and users will be able to surf between channels without needing to jump back out into the guide.

Ashley Hovey, director of AVOD growth at Roku, said the guide is something that’s been in the works for a while but that the coronavirus pandemic accelerated what Roku perceived as a need to add more value, more organization and more access to its platform.

The company said that the Roku Channel is growing faster than its overall platform and that it recorded a 100% increase in streaming hours year over year. The Roku Channel now reaches approximately 36 million people.

During the first quarter, Roku added 2.9 million incremental active accounts to raise its total to 39.8 million. The company’s total net revenue grew 55% year over year to $321 million – which Roku said was the fastest first-quarter revenue growth rate in five years.

Advertising could contribute more for Roku in the future as its live TV channel lineup grows and as marketers increasingly allocate more of their linear TV advertising budgets to connected TV platforms.