Roku Launches A Barker

Turns Up ‘Roku Recommends Channel’ In U.S.
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Roku offers more than 1,800 channels/apps, but has just launched a barker channel of sorts that brings a select few to the forefront each week.  

The Roku Recommends Channel, offered initially in the U.S., aims to reveal “hidden gems” in the Roku Channel Store, including movies and TV episodes, cooking and fitness videos, and tips on how to use the streaming platform.

According to a blog post about the feature, Roku Recommends is refreshed every week. The company has tapped Ellen Fox (Wizard Wars on Syfy, The Rotten Tomatoes Show), as the host of the barker segments.

The first Roku Recommends episode (a sampling of it is available here) has a holiday theme, featuring content from and the Screen Dreams Fireplaces channel, which offers seven different digital yule log options.

While the new channel seemingly presents present Roku with a potential way to drive advertising revenues, content for Roku Recommends “is editorially-driven by the Roku team,” an official said via email. “We have an editorial process through which our team finds and highlights the best channels and content on the Roku platform to enable our customers to discover the breadth of entertainment available.”

Roku Recommends also has a social media angle, urging users to make suggestions via its Facebook page and via Twitter using the #RokuRecommends hashtag.

Roku said the new offering is avaialable on all “current-generation” Roku players and Roku TV models (those introduced after June 2011). The company announced in September that it has shipped more than 10 million Roku devices in the  U.S.