Users can watch movies, live news, and TV-shows for free through the Roku Channel as long as they’re happy with watching ads. It does offer a great variety of content to viewers and now it’s kicking things up a notch. Subscriptions to premium networks such as Showtime will now be available through the Roku Channel, allowing viewers to pay for them on a single bill through their Roku account.

This offering is similar to Amazon Prime Video which lets users subscribe to these networks as add-in channels. It will be possible to pay for and watch Starz, Showtime, and Epix through the Roku Channel.

The one major difference between the two is that the former requires you to have an Amazon Prime subscription. There’s no such pre-requisite on Roku other than just having a Roku account. The other main difference is that Roku isn’t selling access to HBO at launch while it’s available on Amazon Prime Video as an add-on channel.

Roku doesn’t limit the Roku Channel to devices that have been made by it. The company is gradually expanding its available across platforms so it’s understandable why it’s now selling subscriptions to premium networks.

Do keep in mind though that subscriptions to networks that are purchased through Roku won’t allow users to log into the networks’ standalone apps. They will only ever be able to watch those networks through Roku Channel.

Filed in General. Read more about Entertainment and Roku.

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