Roku users just got another way to rent and buy movies and TV shows — but this one is worth mentioning regardless: Owners of current-generation Roku players now have access to a Google Play Movies and TV Shows channel on their devices, which means that they’ll also have access to any of the movies or shows they have previously bought from Google on their Android devices. The Google Play Movies channel also comes with info overlays that identify the actors on screen. Support for Roku TVs will follow soon, according to Roku’s press release.
Next up to jump on the unbundling bandwagon may be Starz: The premium cable channel is planning to launch an online-only subscription service in international markets over the coming months, and Starz CEO Chris Albrecht suggested during the company’s earnings call Thursday that it will likely do the same in the U.S. “I don’t think it cannibalizes the existing business. It is a way to innovate and create real value,” he said, according to Variety. Albrecht’s remarks come after HBO, CBS and Univision all announced their own unbundling plans.
YouTube is exploring the idea to add a paid service plan to its site that will give users access to videos without ads, according to YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki. “There’s going to be a point where people don’t want to see the ads,” Wojcicki said at Recode’s Code/Mobile conference late Monday. YouTube introduced paid channel subscriptions with partners like the Sesame Workshop earlier this year, but this new paid tier would be site-wide. “We’re thinking about how to give users options,” she said — and grow YouTube’s revenue in the process, one might add.