Free-streaming service The Roku Channel has just expanded its popular platform to include kids and family-friendly content, but you’ll have to sit through ads.

The Roku Channel is one of the most popular streaming services thanks to the fact that it doesn’t cost viewers a dime to watch shows. Instead, like broadcast television you have to sit through a handful of ads to enjoy free programming.

photo: Courtesy of Roku


Now Roku has added new offerings with the addition of a section called Kids & Family. Roku is also rolling out Parental Control features for The Roku Channel giving parents tools to control what kids have access to on the platform.

The new category includes over 7,000 movies and episodes from more than 20 partners including All Spark, A Hasbro Company, Mattel, Nelvana and Happy Kids TV, with shows and characters like Bob the Builder, Care Bears, Leapfrog, Little Baby Bum, Super Mario Bros., My Little Pony and Thomas & Friends.

Like the rest of The Roku Channel, young viewers will need to sit through ads to watch. However, the platform promises that compared to network television, the ads will be fewer and they will only be age-appropriate. The Kids & Family category isn’t on a separate app and can be accessed from the main landing page.

Subscribers who use The Roku Channel to access paid premium content, like Nickelodeon and HBO will be able to see the kids content offered by those providers under the Kids & Family section. The new category is available as of now on Roku Streamers and Roku TVs, but for the moment it will not be available via the digital app, which means it can’t be viewed on smartphones or tablets.

—Shahrzad Warkentin



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