Roku adds content; updates OS
March 9, 2023
Roku has announced platform-wide updates for its operating system (OS). Over the coming months, users will find even more content and features with updates to live TV, content discovery, sports, the Roku Mobile App, and more rolling out in the US this spring.
“As the #1 selling OS in three major markets, we understand what people want when it comes to a streaming platform – a simple yet delightful experience that feels personalised to them,” said Preston Smalley, Vice President of Viewer Product, Roku. “The latest updates to our powerful OS make Roku’s software even more intuitive and curated, so users can spend less time searching for content and more time enjoying their favourite entertainment.”
Roku also announced features and availability for its new Roku-branded TVs, the first TVs designed and made by the company. Roku Select and Plus Series TVs are now available at Best Buy in the US for purchase, with the Roku TV Wireless Soundbar becoming available later this month.
New features coming to Roku devices in the US in the following months include:
- Local News: Roku’s Live TV experience boasts 350+ free linear TV streaming channels across a variety of genres. With the launch of Local News, users can watch live news channels personalised by location, or stream channels from major cities across the US. Plus, news recommendations are now powered by AI, making them smarter than ever and ensuring a curated experience within the Live TV Zone. Roku users can search for ‘local news’ using either Roku Search or Roku Voice or visit the Live TV Zone on their Roku Home Screen Menu.
- Premium Subscriptions: The newest addition to Categories within Roku’s Live TV Channel Guide, Premium Subscriptions allows users to quickly discover and sign up for premium channels they are not currently subscribed to, expanding their Live TV content offering. Premium Subscriptions will join previously launched Categories (Recents, Favorites, and Subscribed) and genres including News, Sports, Entertainment, and more. Categories in Roku’s Live TV Channel Guide was previously last autumn.
Content Access and Discovery
- Sports: In 2022 Roku launched the all-new Sports experience, a centralised location where users can browse and stream live and upcoming sports-related events across the Roku platform, making it easier for fans to root for their favourite teams. Coverage will continue to expand with golf and additional soccer programming, including Spanish-language game coverage around select soccer leagues. Also, in the coming months, users will experience a more personalised Sports experience based on their location, favourite team, go-to sport, and viewing habits. Additionally, CBS Sports, MLB.TV, NBA App, and NBC Sports will join the list of supported channels for the Sports experience.
- Continue Watching: Located within What to Watch, Continue Watching gives users a single location to jump back into the content they love. Content from supported channels will now show up nearly instantly in the Continue Watching row after a user has finished streaming their favorite TV show or movie. Additionally, discovery+ and Prime Video will join the list of supported channels of the Continue Watching feature, with BET+, Freevee, Frndly TV, and STARZ launching soon.
- Roku Mobile App: The updated Roku Mobile App will have a more refined, elevated, and visually immersive interface, making it the go-to destination for all streaming needs. In the coming months, users will notice the following upgrades:
- A revamped Account Hub: Roku is introducing an expanded Account Hub where users can create and adjust Roku Account preferences seamlessly. Updates will include a new sign-up and sign-in process; the ability to establish security, privacy, and notification preferences; device management on their account; and more.
- A more streamlined Home Screen: Within the Mobile App’s Home tab, users will notice a simpler interface with new features tailored to them. These include dedicated Sports and Continue Watching rows, more ways to discover new content, and more.
- Live TV Channel ‘Guide’ button: Previously, Roku introduced a dedicated Live TV Channel “Guide” button on the mobile app remote when connected to Roku TVs. In the coming months, this feature will expand to connected players, enabling users to instantly launch the Live TV Channel Guide right from their phone.
- Enhanced Roku Photo Streams: In 2022, Roku announced Roku Photo Streams, giving users the ability to share photos with friends and family and turn their TVs into the biggest photo album in their home. With new updates, managing and uploading images to photo streams will be faster and easier than before. With a new mobile integration, users will be able to upload images right from their photo album, choose thumbnails for their streams, simply add or delete images, set streams as screensavers, and share streams with family and friends right from their phones. Plus, users can now upload up to 1,000 images per stream.