Roku Premium Subs Now Available But No HBO In Sight


Roku's Premium Subscriptions are now live wherein users can sign up for channels such as EPIX, Showtime, STARZ, and more — except HBO.

The Roku Channel, which provides more than 10,000 free movies and tv episodes, announced earlier that the company will start offering subscriptions to premium streaming services straight from its own TV and movies hub.

Roku Premium Subs

With Roku's Premium Subscriptions, subscribers can stream the channels they want without the need to install the app on the Roku device. All contents from the add-ons will rather be available in The Roku Channel section, where other free and ad-supported TV shows, news, sports, movies, and entertainment programming are also found.

The company made it clear, though, that the premium channels will get their own area inside The Roku Channel, a spot on the homepage, and dedicated tabs. It aims to also improve customizing its recommendations at some point using the data from users' subscriptions.

"Ultimately, from a user standpoint, there's a lot of value in being able to pick and choose exactly what you want to sign up for - without having to sign up for one of these base packages to start with," Rob Holmes, vice president of Programming, told Tech Crunch.

At present, several companies allow users to watch premium programming through add-on subscriptions, although, only a few of them, like Amazon's Prime Video Channels and Sling TV, enable subscribers to do it a la carte — a subscription of the core TV package before any addition of extras.

HBO Is Not In Sight

Meanwhile, Roku's Premium Subscriptions include the following selection of networks at launch:

  • CollegeHumor's DROPOUT
  • CuriosityStream
  • Fandor Spotlight
  • FitFusion
  • The Great Courses Signature Collection
  • Grokker
  • Hi-YAH!
  • Hopster
  • Lifetime Movie Club
  • MHz Choice
  • Shout! Factory TV, Smithsonian Channel Plus
  • Stingray Karaoke
  • Tastemade
  • Viewster Anime
  • ZooMoo and more

The lineup apparently excludes HBO, which has HBO NOW as its own streaming service. On top of that, the network is also tied to various à la carte and streaming TV companies.

Roku's Premium Subscriptions feature is now available on select Roku devices in the United States. Users can sign up for a 30-day trial period before March 31 and pay for it using their existing payment info on file with Roku's own billing system.

The update will be rolled out in succeeding weeks, first to Roku players and to Roku TVs afterward.

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