Roku builds Live TV Zone into streaming platform

Roku today is pushing an update to its streaming platform that adds a “Live TV Zone” to give users easier access to live content including news.

The new feature on Roku’s left-hand navigation menu provides a shortcut to Roku’s Live TV Channel Guide—including more than 200 free linear television channels on The Roku Channel—and live streaming TV services including Hulu, fuboTV, Philo, Sling and YouTube TV.

“Our recent streaming survey revealed that 61% of users without traditional pay TV still watch live news at least multiple times a week so this update will give users direct access to live entertainment in just a few clicks,” wrote Preston Smalley, Roku’s vice president of product, end user experience, in a blog post.

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Last year, The Roku Channel officially surpassed 200 channels after adding linear feeds from AccuWeather Now, CBC News, El Rey, FilmRise Horror, FilmRise Kids, IGN, Real Madrid TV and Tribeca Channel.

“Roku is rooted in creating better streaming experiences for our users, using our brand pillars of ease, value and choice to guide us,” said Ashley Hovey, director of The Roku Channel AVOD, in a statement. “The demand for free, quality programming continues to be of importance to our streamers. We’ve seen linear streaming explode over the last year and we’re very excited to offer an all-new lineup of great channels with some of the most-recognized franchises to our users.”

The Roku Channel first launched live/linear programming in 2018 and added the Kids & Family experience in 2019. During the second quarter of 2021, the company said Kids & Family programming on The Roku Channel was streamed by more households than any other AVOD kids and family stand-alone channel on its platform.