Published On: Mon, Aug 19th, 2019

The Roku Channel is adding a kids and family section with free TV shows and movies

The Roku Channel currently offers a mix of free-to-watch, ad-supported movies, TV shows, and live news. You can also purchase subscriptions to HBO, Showtime, Starz, Epix, and other networks through the Roku Channel instead of subscribing to each of those streaming apps separately. Beginning today, the company is adding a new section to the Roku Channel that’s focused on kid and family content.

The Kids and Family area is available now in the US on Roku streaming players, Roku TVs, on the web, and on select Samsung smart TVs. It includes a curated mix of shows that are grouped into different age ranges so that it’s easy to find something appropriate when trying to entertain a child. Roku says that it provides “a unique blend of quality shows, movies, live linear and short-form video typically found across multiple free and paid kids channels and brings them together to watch in a single place.” Everything is chosen by an in-house editorial team, so one would hope nothing too weird or creepy will slip through.

Everyone will be able to stream a family-friendly mix of TV shows and movies at no extra charge. In total, Roku says it’s including “7,000 free, ad-supported movies and TV episodes” from partners including All Spark, A Hasbro Company, DHX Media, Happy Kids TV, Lionsgate, Mattel, Moonbug, and, among others.”

But customers who subscribe to Noggin, Hopster, or even HBO or Starz will see kid-appropriate content from those networks featured in this new section as well. Roku explained to me that this will only happen if you subscribe to those channels through the Roku Channel. So if you’re paying for HBO elsewhere, Sesame Street won’t show up in the Roku Channel’s kids and family portal. Make sense?

Roku notes that although the new section is ad-supported, it’ll see 40 percent less ad volume compared to regular Roku Channel content, which the company claims is already below cable TV averages. Like the TV shows and movies you can stream, ads will also be screened to ensure kids aren’t seeing anything they shouldn’t.

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