'Roku Recommends’ boosts search of featured titles, debuts season 2

Roku has debuted the second season of its 15-minute weekly episode series “Roku Recommends,” which aims to help and influence viewers’ choices on what to watch, as well as benefit marketers.

The Weather Channel network and ViX+ (TelevisaUnivision’s recently launched Spanish-language streaming service) are among new sponsors for the current season, which is hosted by Maria Menounos and NFL star Andrew “Hawk” Hawkins.

Each week the co-hosts share their watchlist of new favorite titles and classics, with recommendations partly fueled by Roku data. In a sea of content options, the editorialized recommendation and discovery approach has shown success on Roku. In 2021 “Roku Recommends” was a top-10 video on-demand program on The Roku Channel.  It also helps marketers that want another way to get content on consumers’ radar. According to Roku, those that watched season one of “Roku Recommends” were 188% more likely to search for a title or series highlighted in an episode compared to those that didn’t see the show.

“Leading brands are breaking out of the traditional 30-second spot to win the entire streaming journey,” said Chris Bruss, head of the Roku Brand Studio, in a statement. “We’re thrilled how ‘Roku Recommends’ creates a better TV experience for streamers and a better TV storytelling experience for brands.”

Advertisers can participate in Roku Recommends through several means such as sponsored show segments, custom branded integrations and promotions via Roku home screen placements.

In addition to The Roku Channel, “Roku Recommends” will be available at no cost in the “Featured Free” section of the Roku home screen. New episodes air Thursdays, starting September 1. The series is produced by Funny or Die.

Roku has continued to bolster content on The Roku Channel, its free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) hub. Most recently that included 14 new linear channels including more local news from NBC and six channels from Scripps.

On the device front, Roku announced Thursday that TV makers TCL and Metz Blue will start selling Roku-powered smart TV sets in the German market.