As the battle over streaming video continues to heat up, Roku has stayed pretty neutral. However, that changed today as the company took a first step towards offering its own exclusive content. Anyone lucky enough to own one of Roku’s set-top boxes will be granted early access to the series premiere of The Divide a week before it airs on TV.
The new criminal justice drama is set to premiere on WEtv on July 16, but anyone with a Roku can watch the pilot today. The news signals just how important streaming has become, as the new technology threatens to surpass traditional TV entirely. WEtv president Marc Juris also notes that Roku’s “equal ratio of male-to-female users” was a big part of the decision.
The news could signal a big change for Roku, which until now has focused entirely on hardware and software without offering any content of its own. If The Divide is a hit for the company it’s likely we’ll see other shows debut on the set-top box as well. It’s also possible Roku could eventually transition towards producing its own TV shows and films, though we don’t see that happening any time soon.