User experience has improved recently with cord-cutters streaming their favorite content through Roku. The company revealed platform-wide operating system (OS) updates with the introduction of Roku OS 12, and announced the features and availability of its new Roku Select and Plus series TVs. With over 70 million active accounts in the United States, the Roku operating system is the best-selling Smart TV operating system in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
“As the best-selling operating system in three major markets, we understand what people want when it comes to a streaming platform – a simple yet delightful experience that is personalized to them,” said Preston Smalley, Vice President of Browser Products of the Year . “The latest updates to our powerful operating system make Roku software even more intuitive and polished, so users can spend less time searching for content and more time enjoying their favorite entertainment.”
With the latest version of Roku OS 12, users will love even more with updates to live TV, content discovery, sports, the Roku mobile app and more coming this spring. Roku’s Live TV offers over 350 free linear TV channels in a variety of genres.
With the launch of Local News, users can now stream feeds from major US cities or watch live news feeds that are personalized to their region. News recommendations are now powered by AI, making them smarter than ever for a curated experience in the live TV zone. Roku users can use Roku Search, Roku Voice, or Live TV Zone in the navigation on the Roku home screen to perform a “local news” search. Premium Subscriptions, the newest category added to the Roku Live TV Channels Guide, allows users to quickly find and subscribe to premium channels of which they are not yet members, expanding their live TV content offerings.
Golf and soccer programming, including coverage of matches in Spanish for some soccer leagues, will be added to the all-new sports offering. In addition, users will soon be able to enjoy a more tailored sports experience based on their location, preferred team, preferred activity and viewing preferences.
Located in What to Watch, the Continue Watching feature gives users a single place to go back to the content they enjoy. When a user finishes streaming their preferred TV show or movie, content from supported channels will now appear almost instantly in the Continue Watching row. BET+, Freevee and STARZ will debut soon, while Discovery+ and Prime Video will also be added to the list of supported channels for Continue Watching.
The updated Roku mobile app will have a more refined, enhanced and visually immersive interface, making it the perfect place for all your account and streaming needs. In the coming months, users will see a revamped Account Center, a streamlined home screen, a Live TV Channel “Guide” button, and improved Roku Photo Streams.
Meanwhile, the Roku Select and Plus Series TVs are now available exclusively at Best Buy and BestBuy.com. The new Roku wireless soundbar, which seamlessly complements the Roku Select and Plus TVs wirelessly, will be available exclusively at Best Buy stores and online later this month.
The Roku Plus series TVs offer a clear picture, blazing-fast performance and tons of enhanced features like Auto Brightness, Wireless Sound Enhancement, Bluetooth Private Listening, Roku Voice Remote Pro and more. The Roku Plus Series TVs are designed to offer streaming right out of the box when paired with Roku’s industry-leading streaming platform.
“Our goal is to make everything about a smart TV delightfully simple, from finding a TV that’s perfect for you, to opening and unpacking, to enjoying your favorite movies and TV shows,” said Mustafa Ozgen, president of Roku Devices. “We’ve made conscious decisions to ensure that our Roku Select and Plus TVs embody what users love most about Roku streaming, and have leveraged our expertise in picture and sound quality to provide consumers with an enhanced entertainment experience at an incredible price.”
The announcements come as Roku intends to continue to focus on improving its content offerings to drive engagement, Roku CEO Anthony Wood said Monday at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference in San Francisco. The change is intended to encourage users to use the platform more often, making it a more integral part of their daily lives, as opposed to a service they can leave more easily. All of which shows just how far the company has come since it started with a back catalog of movies and TV shows.
“We promoted it in the so-called [user interface], it’s free and great value, and our cable cutters love things that are free. So this is a virtuous cycle. It just made it bigger and bigger,” Wood said. “And now we’re at the point where we’re licensing content… We have a film production deal with Lionsgate and now we’re producing our own originals. So it’s a whole range.”