Roku is set to premiere its original shows starting May 20. An initial batch of 30 titles will hit The Roku Channel, the company's own app programmed with free, ad-supported videos.
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The streaming service plans to drop another 40 titles over the next year, including some that have never been seen before. All of the titles will be released binge-style like Netflix, with all episodes in a single season of the series dropping at once.
Sweta Patel, Roku's vice president of growth marketing, said that this is one of the boldest moves that Roku has made. It is not often that users have a complete free, ad-based service with talent such as this, according to TechCrunch.
The programming that is coming May 20 features stars like Kevin Hart, Anna Kendrick, Chrissy Teigen, Liam Hemsworth, Joe Jonas, Chane the Rapper, Darren Criss, and others.
Roku is also offering some deals on its devices in the back half of May, all of which is hooked on Streaming Day, which is an event that some services use to hype their programming, or their offers.
On Streaming Day, Roku will offer Roku Express by $5, the Streaming Stick Plus by $10, and its Streambar and Roku Ultra by $30 in the United States.
In 2020, Quibi was a mobile-first streaming service under Roku that never got around and collapsed. It was launched a year ago for $5 and became short-form video service that featured big-budget, megastar shows, as noted by Pocket Lint.
However, it flamed out, failing to get enough attraction from the public and throwing in the towel on operations less than seven months after the launch.
Roku will dramatically widen the audience for Quibi's shows, which have been in the backburner for months.
As a streaming platform, Roku has almost 54 million active accounts, and the company estimates that The Roku Channel is watched in households representing more than 70 million people.
Quibi never disclosed its peak number of subscribers, but its app had fewer than 6 million downloads during the period Quibi offered an extended free trial after launch.
Furthermore, the app's shows will also be available to watch free for the first time with Roku.
The Roku Channel is free with advertising; Roku stated that it will run ads in between the shows, which it has rebranded Roku Originals, and these ad-breaks will last a minute or even less. The shows will be available to watch horizontally only.
In addition to the Quibi-sourced originals launching May 20, the LOL! Network, a streaming channel backed by Hart, will also make its appearance on The Roku Channel.
Roku's discounts this May include $5 off the Roku Express, $10 off the Roku Streaming Stick Plus, and $30 off both the Roku Streambar and the Roku Ultra in the United States starting May 29, as per CNET.
Starting May 28 in Canada, Roku Express is off $5, Roku Streaming Stick Plus is off $10, and Roku Streambar is off $30. Meanwhile, in the UK on May 25, there will be £5 off Roku Express and £10 off Roku Streaming Stick Plus, and starting May 19 through June, £30 off Roku Streambar.
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Written by Sophie Webster