Roku is expanding its lineup for its free content hub, The Roku Channel, with the launch today of its own weekly entertainment program called “Roku Recommends”. The 15-minute show will harness data from Roku to highlight the top 5 titles viewers will be able to stream this week. Although this is not exactly “original programming”, the way Roku’s recent additions to its acquired Quibi content that is, the series will only run on Roku, where it can be found in The Roku Channel and Featured Free, with new episodes every Thursday.

The series is the first production to emerge from the new Roku Brand Studio – a studio that aims to produce video ads and other personalized branded content for advertising partners. The show is produced by Funny Or Die and Mike Farah, Beth Belew and Jim Ziegler are the executive producers.

The show’s co-hosts include entertainment reporter and AfterBuzz TV co-founder Maria Menounos and former NFL player Andrew “Hawk” Hawkins. The duo will present the Top 5 titles to viewers. These recommended shows or movies can be from any of the thousands of channels on the Roku platform, based on platform-exclusive database.

“According to Nielsen data, the average streamer spends more than seven minutes figuring out what to watch next,” Chris Bruss, director of Roku Brand Studio, said in a statement. “We’re uniquely positioned to use our trending data both to help consumers find amazing movies and shows, and to help advertisers move beyond traditional 30-second advertising to entertain streamers who are watching. otherwise spend time in ad-free, subscription-only environments, ”he said. added.

The series will also help advertising sponsors. The company says it has already signed with several national advertisers, starting with Walmart, to sponsor the program. Advertisers will have access to Roku’s metrics partner program to determine whether or not their integration is reaching subscription-only video-on-demand (SVOD) streaming users, as well as to view other metrics on reach, perception of the brand and impact of their video advertising campaign.

The series comes at a time when the streaming landscape is changing. Today’s streaming services regularly offer recommended content based on what their customers are watching – Netflix, for example, displays rows of popular and trending content, as well as a Top 10 Popular New Titles. But as the number of streaming services available increases, larger entities merge, and content skips as license agreements end and begin, consumers may need more of a current set of recommendations from all channels and services, not just those isolated within ‘a service.

Amazon Fire TV Update recently responded to this need with the introduction of a new “Search” feature that aims to make it easier for users to find and browse movies, shows and free content on its platform. Roku, however, did not have his own recommendation system.

It’s also interesting that Roku is ready to use its proprietary streaming data in this way – something it could choose to do more later to help craft a broader set of recommendations, if it so chooses.

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