Roku is expanding its What to Watch feature to additional devices and televisions across the world to make it easier for its users to find content they may otherwise miss.
The entertainment company is rolling out a new update to streaming players and Roku-compatible televisions that will include its new What to Watch feature, the company confirmed in an interview with our sister site TechRadar. The feature, which was rolled out to U.S.-based customers in October, analyzes user viewing activity and recommends similar programming based on their tastes.
What to Watch works in the background to get a sense of what streamers are interested in across genres and streaming services. Based on its understanding, it’ll then recommend TV shows, documentaries, and movies that have a strong likelihood of resonating with the user. For instance, if the person is often watching crime dramas, What to Watch will suggest other crime drama shows that they haven’t previously watched.
Most importantly, perhaps, What to Watch is also smart enough to identify which streaming services users are subscribed to and only recommend programming on those platforms. All other content on streaming services the user isn’t subscribed to is left out of the recommended list. That’s no small feat: in many other cases, including on the Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast, there’s no filtering of content based on the user’s subscriptions.
Roku’s feature is an effort by the company to streamline the viewing process in a world where finding content amid an endless supply of streaming platforms is nearly impossible. What to Watch aims at understanding the user’s interests and feeding content to them so they don’t need to waste so much time sifting through programming they don’t necessarily care about.
In addition to its What to Watch update, which will now be available across the globe and not solely in the U.S., the rollout features a Continue Watching tab for easily resuming a show or movie, as well as a Save List for easily accessing programming for later.
The Roku update won’t be happening overnight. The company told TechRadar that the company expects the new features to roll out to its streaming player lineup over the coming weeks and Roku-compatible TVs, including those from JVC and TCL, should get the update in the coming months.
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Don Reisinger is CEO and founder of D2 Tech Agency. A communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter, Don has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Forbes, Computerworld, Digital Trends, TechCrunch and Slashgear. He has also written for Tom's Guide for many years, contributing hundreds of articles on everything from phones to games to streaming and smart home.