Roku offers free episodes from Showtime and other premium subscriptions.

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Roku’s new plan to get more of its user base on premium subscription add-ons involves giving viewers a small taste of what they’re missing.

The company is now offering a few free episodes of original series from subscription streaming services, including Showtime, Epix, History Vault, Dove Channel and Acorn TV. Episodes of series like “Becoming a God in Central Florida” and “Godfather of Harlem” can be viewed without signing up or starting a free trial.

Roku has also enabled one-click sign up for premium subscriptions, which allows users to subscribe to services, as well as manage and consolidate billing for their different subscription services.

The Take: The Roku Channel, which provides access to free, ad-supported and add-on subscription services is facing increased competition from Comcast’s Xfinity Flex and Tivo+. Roku, like Apple, wants to compete against Amazon to become the ultimate aggregator and platform for all things streaming video. 

Apple is hoping TV+ launching in three weeks is enough to get people to The TV App, whereas Roku is using free movies and TV shows in hopes you’ll use the Roku Channel. Both companies are hoping you’ll subscribe to premium subscriptions, where revenue sharing from those agreements will help boost each company’s average revenue per user (APRU).

We think offering users of The Roku Channel free episodes of original series from subscription streaming services is a good move that should enhance viewership and attract more users to paid subscriptions. Just last week it was reported that in India, Netflix will be making the first episode of the newly launched series “Bard of Blood” available for free on Android devices. They had previously tested a similar strategy in Colombia and Mexico. 

You can’t beat free. 

Source: Fierce Video

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