Both the $5-a-month ad-supported version and the $7-a-month ad-free version will be part of the integration.
In a recent quarterly report, Roku said the 5-year-old Roku Channel now reaches households with 80 million people and is in the top 5 among all streaming apps on its platform in terms of active account reach and streaming hour engagement. While it is known for free offerings supported by advertising, the Roku Channel is also a gateway for more than 50 subscription services, including Starz, AMC+ and Showtime.
The integration comes as Warner Bros Discovery, the recently merged parent company of Discovery+, has announced plans to bring HBO Max and Discovery+ together as a single service. HBO Max came to Roku in late-2020 after launching without Roku availability.
Last month, Warner Bros Discovery reported that Discovery had 24 million total streaming subscribers as of the end of the first quarter. While the company does not break out the composition of that overall number, the bulk of it is Discovery+, which launched in early 2021.
Randy Ahn, head of SVOD for the Roku Channel, told Deadline in an interview that the addition of Discovery+ was the largest infusion of library titles in the channel’s history. Discovery+ has 70,000 episodes of current and classic series across HGTV, Food Network, TLC, ID, OWN, Travel Channel, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and Magnolia Network, plus 200-plus original titles. Discovery+ has also licensed rights to third-party programming.
Ahn said he could not project how unscripted titles from the vast Discovery trove would be surfaced in Roku’s search and discovery tools relative to an increasing number of similar programs under Roku’s own umbrella of originals. Last week, the company announced a new fleet of food-themed originals hosted by Martha Stewart and other prominent food media names. The company also acquired home improvement brand This Old House.
“The launch of discovery+ on The Roku Channel makes it easy for our users to access this compelling content, while enabling Discovery to reach incremental audiences through The Roku Channel,” Roku programming VP Rob Holmes said. “By offering more great content in The Roku Channel, we provide even more reasons for our millions of streamers to engage with a top five channel on our U.S. platform, and more opportunities for our partners to reach our large audience.”
Gabriel Sauerhoff, SVP Digital Distribution and Commercial Partnerships, Warner. Bros. Discovery, said the deal will enable the company to “deepen our relationship with Roku, a valued partner, and expand access of discovery+ on the Roku platform through the launch on The Roku Channel.”