Streaming Devices

The Roku Channel Now Has These Premium Subscriptions

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Last summer, Roku launched a free web channel to take on popular streaming apps like Netflix and Hulu.

First Roku offered ad-supported movies for free, now the platform also has news, sports, and TV shows available for streaming.

But the Roku Channel also just added premium subscriptions with its free content.

Roku is partnering with video providers to offer its users more entertainment. Some of the subscriptions include Showtime, Starz, Tastemade, EPIX, CuriosityStream, Noggin, Baeble Music, and more.

Users can see what is available on the premium program before signing up. And if they do want to sign-up, they can use the payment card already on file with Roku– making it especially easy to do so.

“We’ve been focused on ad-supported content and will continue to have a very robust offering there. But there’s lots of great content that’s available only in subscription services,” said Rob Holmes, Roku’s vice president of Programming. “We also wanted to try to improve the user experience in a lot of the same way that we did with the launch of The Roku Channel around ad-supported content.”

Previously, users could download the apps of premium subscription programs like HBO Go to watch their subscription content. But now, a users' subscriptions will have their own standalone area in The Roku Channel.

Roku has plans to add even more video partners to its channel, but won't be offering subscriptions via packages similar to Sling TV. Instead, Holmes says that they will likely remain " à la carte."

“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," said Holmes.

Read more about how The Roku Channel is adding more content at "Tech Crunch" now.

Users are Watching 8 Billion Hours of Content on Streaming Devices a Month

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As consumers switch from traditional TV services like Satelite Dish and cable, Roku, Google Chromecast, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV have quickly emerged as the most popular devices to stream video.

According to data from Nielsen, Americans are watching about 8 billion hours of content on these devices. The majority of the streaming is happening in the living room and users 13 and older using these platforms to stream to their TVs for an average of at least an hour a day.

Bigger screens are still the most popular when it comes to watching content. According to Nielsen's findings, consumers only stream for 36 minutes a day on average on computers and 24 minutes on mobile devices.

Younger audiences aren't watching live TV as much, with only 3 percent of live TV viewers being between the ages of 18 and 24.

"For example, out of total day viewers watching content aired across five networks on live TV, 7% are between the ages of 25 and 34, while 19% of connected device viewers are in the same age bracket," writes Nielsen.

Not to mention, there are multiple programs out their now streaming live TV channels. So how can advertisers reach all viewers watching live TV on multiple platforms?

Nielsen has launched the dynamic ad insertion (DAI) pilot that uses Gracenote Video Automatic Content Recognition technology.

"The tech is used to allow MediaTek-based smart TV platforms to deliver addressable advertising capabilities in live trials across five U.S. markets," writes "Fierce Video."

“Nielsen recognizes the huge opportunity addressable TV presents for our clients,” said Kelly Abcarian, senior vice president of product leadership for Nielsen. “So, we’ve worked hard to create an advanced DAI solution that covers everything from ad targeting to delivery. As the result of our expanded DAI pilot with leading smart TV platforms and manufacturers and some of the largest broadcast and cable networks, marketers will be able to better realize the value of their advertising inventory, achieve maximum return on their ad spend and viewers will see messages that are most relevant to them.”

But will this only push viewers to watch more content on commercial-free streaming apps like Hulu and Netflix?

Read more about Nielsen's Digital Content Ratings now at "Fierce Video."