Roku Embarks on New Path to Revenue- Launches Ad-Supported Streaming Service

The Roku Channel is getting prominent placement on the streaming platform

For instance, Google runs its own ads against YouTube, the most popular free channel on Roku, and doesn't share any of the resulting revenue with the company. However, there will be less ads than when turning on traditional TV, which typically make up a total of 16 minutes per hour.

According to its blog, the company plans to offer half the amount of advertising that would air on a traditional hour of linear television.

"The Roku Channel" promises access to several hundred films, including "The Karate Kid" and "Legally Blonde", from major Hollywood studios like Lionsgate, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Sony Pictures and Warner Brothers.

Currently, the Roku platform in the USA offers a collection of more than 5,000 channels with access to 500,000 movies and TV episodes. "With The Roku Channel, we're responding to consumer demand and helping content publishers deliver content through a new experience that makes finding free entertainment easy for our customers". A snapshot of how the channel will look like also shows the movies "Haywire", "The Mask of Zorro", "Zookeeper" and "Bad Boys II". Other publishers will be added to the list in the future, the platform said. Publishers participating include American Classics, Fandor, FilmRise, Nosey, OVGuide, Popcornflix, Vidmark and YuYu, with others expected to be added over time.

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"There is tremendous opportunity for our content to be viewed on the Roku platform", said Danny Fisher, Chief Executive Officer at FilmRise.

Now, the company is seeking to grow its advertising segment even more with the Wednesday launch of a free, ad-supported service for Roku device owners dubbed The Roku Channel. As Variety points out, the only other channel operated by Roku previously was one meant to showcase its devices' 4K capabilities. During the first six months of 2017, Roku made $82.4 million in revenue from its platform, which consists of a mix of advertising sales and subscription and transaction revenue sharing, representing growth of 91 percent from the same period a year earlier.

At the same time, Roku hasn't been able to monetize some of its most-watched channels at all. Roku is known for streaming innovation and high customer engagement, offering content providers and video advertisers the best way to reach streaming audiences. Before the announcement, Roku had focused on selling only hardware.

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