30 Roku Originals now free to stream - and there's more to come...

posted on Thursday, 20th May 2021 by Steve May

home cinema  Streaming  Broadcast  Roku 

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The first Roku Originals have landed on The Roku Channel. The launch line-up of 30 titles, includes scripted series, such as Die Hart, #FreeRayshawn and Reno 911!, documentaries, such as Blackballed and Big Rad Wolf, and reality programming, including Punk’d and Chrissy's Court.

The shows are available free (and ad supported) on the The Roku Channel, which is available on Roku streaming devices, including the new Roku Streambar, NOW TV devices, Sky Q and Hisense Roku smart TVs.

The launch is the first wave of original content acquired from failed mobile streaming service Quibi. The programme drop, which spans genres, and includes sneaker culture, female wrestling and travel, features a host of A-list talent, including Anna Kendrick, Idris Elba and Kevin Hart, in comedies and drama.

Although the Quibi acquisition was originally intended to be seen on mobile devices, it will screen in a standard widescreen format on The Roku Channel. The shows will be available in 1080p.

Ads play between shows, which typically run for 10-15 minutes, and auto play.

Roku told Inside CI that while it will continue to look at content acquisition, it’s not about to commission its own programming, and challenge the spend of Netflix or Prime Video.

More Roku originals will be released later this year. The initial launch is part of a 75 strong Quibi programme library, equivalent to over 200 hours of programming: “We're going to be launching that in waves, over a period of time so I think we're going to be busy with those 75 shorts.”

The Roku acquisition is allowing a dozen or so shows that were in the middle of production to be finished - when they land on Roku they will not have been seen in any form beforehand.

According to the streamer, there are more than 53 million Roku devices in use worldwide.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology specialist who also writes for T3TechRadarHome Cinema Choice, Trusted Reviews and The Luxe Review.

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