After recently filing for a $100 million IPO, media streaming device creator Roku has decided to up the ante with their current entertainment offerings. In addition to hosting other people's content (from the likes of Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and more), Roku just announced their own movie streaming channel - appropriately named "The Roku Channel."
This new channel will come in the form of a free software update for anyone who owns a current generation Roku device. But before you get too excited, this update might not be available for everyone right away - rather, the company plans to release it via a phased roll-out over the next few weeks.
The service is technically free although Roku plans to monetize it via ads like what you see on Hulu. While the approach might turn off individuals who prefer Netflix's ad-free model, the streaming device creator claims the channel will have roughly half the advertising per programming hour compared to regular TV.
The Roku Channel will offer hundreds of popular movies at any given time with Roku adding new content on a monthly basis.
As for what sorts of movies you can watch, Roku mentioned films like Ali, The Karate Kid and Legally Blonde as examples. However, thanks to agreements with movie production studios such as MGM, Lionsgate and Warner Bros. and existing publisher partnerships, you can probably expect quite a bit of variety.
It's worth noting that Roku hasn't announced any plans to offer their own original content just yet meaning they probably won't be competing with services like Netflix or Amazon Prime Instant Video anytime soon.