OTT set-top-box provider Roku is launching its own channel, partly to help promote all apps on its platform -- with much less advertising.
Roku says there will be movies from studios and other content from publishers on the channel -- with no subscriptions, fees or logins required, says Anthony Wood, CEO of Roku, in an email to subscribers.
The Roku Channel will have, on average, about half the advertising of traditional linear ad-supported TV. Content will come from major studio agreements -- Lionsgate, MGM, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Warner Brothers.
As a promotional vehicle, Rob Holmes, vice president of programming at Roku, has said the effort is in response "to consumer demand and helping content publishers deliver content through a new experience that makes finding free entertainment easy for our customers."
The channel wants to hype content for scores of lesser-known apps on the platform, including American Classics, Fandor, FilmRise, Nosey, OVGuide, Popcornflix, Vidmark and YuYu.
The Roku Channel will be phased in over the next few weeks.
Analysts have said that content discovery of TV shows and movies remains a challenge among growing OTT digital media platforms.