What to broadcast? New ‘Roku Recommends’ Series Offers Weekly Choices, With Walmart On Board As The Show’s First Sponsor – Deadline

Roku, which offers its nearly 54 million active account holders tens of thousands of titles, wants to simplify the often difficult process of deciding what to stream.

The company’s solution is a new weekly 15-minute program, Roku recommends, which comes out today. It is co-hosted by Maria Menounos, who is best known for her work as a television entertainment correspondent, and NFL player-turned-media personality Andrew “Hawk” Hawkins. In the free show that airs every Thursday, the duo showcase their top five titles to watch. Some of the choices will be new releases, while others will be unearthed through a mixture of data mining and human curation.

The show is the first production of the Roku Brand Studio, which was formed earlier this year. Funny or Die is also a producer of the series, and Walmart is on board as a sponsor of the first episode of Roku recommends.

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“There are thousands of channels on Roku, there is so much that you might not even know you have access to,” said brand studio head Chris Bruss (a Funny or Die alumnus). in an interview with Deadline. He said the show would aim to be “fun and entertaining,” adding that the weekly picks are not a payola-like result of the streaming providers’ promotional spending.

“There is no sponsorship money to try to influence the shows and movies that we recommend,” he said.

Instead, the environment of America’s best streaming gateway gives advertisers the opportunity to make a good impression on viewers who aren’t the usual brands. “If you go straight to Netflix then Netflix will tell you what’s new this weekend, and that’s great,” he said. “But if you’re just doing that, how are you going to know what’s here on Peacock or on Disney +?” It’s the ability to grab the attention of that audience, both because we believe it will create a better user experience… and it’s an opportunity for a brand to talk to someone. If someone turns on their Roku and goes straight to Netflix, there is no advertising.

In addition to two minutes of ad time in the middle of each episode, advertisers will also have sponsored segments and custom integrations provided by co-hosts in podcast-like readings. The show will be hosted on the Roku Channel, the aggregation center for 200 live linear channels and 40,000 movie and TV titles launched in 2017. The new Roku Originals banner is also available on the Roku Channel, which includes shows acquired from Quibi earlier this year. year.

After Walmart, Roku said it had lined up “several major national advertisers” to support the show, which will be promoted on the platform and linked to key navigation features.

Mike Farah, Beth Belew and Jim Ziegler are the executive producers of Roku recommends.

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