Roku is getting even more free TV. Yes, after Roku just added 13 free channels, it's gaining three more. The titles come from the Warner Music Group, and all focus on delivering music-related content straight to your TV or phone (provided you have the right hardware), for free. And Roku's also gained an annual event, one it's taken from Fox.
This first bit of free Roku channels news comes from Variety, which reports that (unlike other channels on The Roku Channel) WMX Pop, WMX Rock and WMX Hip-Hop are not going to be found anywhere else. These channels, which are programmed like regular linear cable channels, are currently live, after launching on Monday (Dec. 5). And, just like all of The Roku Channel, they're free because they've got ads.
Opening the channels via the Roku app on my iPhone, I saw that WMX Punk is delivering the following programming: Pop Punk Forever Volume 1, David Bowie '80s Experience, The New Alternative Volume 1 and something called Extremities. I say "something called" because you can't get a preview or description of the shows by tapping on them.
WMX Hip Hop's lineup features a series called Front Runners, a show about the late artist Mac Miller and a show hosted by rapper Talib Kweli. WMX Pop's lineup includes a show called New Pop Rising, a series about the Top 100, music popular in 1992 and the Afro Pop genre.
And, of course, these channels aren't just on Roku devices. You can watch them on The Roku Channel website, on the Roku app on Amazon's streaming platform, including Amazon Fire TV Sticks and Cubes, as well as on iOS and Android devices via the Roku app.
The new free channels in The Roku Channel
Here is the full list of new channels that are now on The Roku Channel.
- WMX Pop
- WMX Rock
- WMX Hip-Hop
Roku takes Miss America off Fox's schedule
Variety also broke news that The Roku Channel is the new home of the Miss Universe pageant. Roku got the English-language broadcast rights for the event for its 71st edition. It will beam out live from New Orleans on January 14, 2023 at 7 p.m. ET.
Analysis: How Roku differentiates
Roku, for the most part, goes simple, and that's one reason why its devices are among the best streaming devices. Its interface is straightforward and direct, with an apps-first focus. But when you go into The Roku Channel app, you find a world of free, ad-supported streaming TV (referred to as 'FAST').
And all of these latest updates seem to show a path forward for Roku. While The Roku Channel may be available on Fire TV, it's not on the Chromecast with Google TV or the Apple TV 4K.
And as The Roku Channel levels up with more free TV, original content such as the Weird Al movie and live events such as Miss Universe, it seeks to establish a brand for where you want to go to stop thinking about how much you're paying on increasingly-expensive streaming services.