Got a Roku? If you said yes, you’re one of the 27 million active Roku users out there! Roku has grown to become the leading streaming device available to consumers because of their variety of streaming device options, simple user interface and wide array of streaming apps available on the device.
Roku makes it easy to have all of your streaming apps available in one place, but surely some of you are getting sick of your subscription bills piling up from each of these apps. It’s easy to subscribe to more and more SVOD (Subscription Video On Demand) services as they continue to pop up, and it doesn’t take a lot to be paying just as much as you would for a cable plan. The secret to maintaining your subscription bills to a manageable amount is to hunt for the streaming apps who offer a free or freemium option—no subscription or account creation required.
Take a look at each of the apps below—sorted by genres, including news, food, movies & TV Shows, binge-worthy, kids and music. Each are available to download onto your Roku device and offer up some or all of their content to stream for free!
The CBS News app features the 24/7 streaming news network from CBSN and VOD episodes from news programs, including 48 Hours, 60 Minutes, CBS This Morning, CBS Evening and much more.
The Fox News app allows you to watch highlights and live streaming coverage of major news events for free.
NewsON is a great source for local news and streams newscasts from over 200 news stations across the U.S.
Sky News is the first 24-hour news channel in the UK and offers access to 24/7 news streaming, including topics on Business, Politics, Entertainment and Strange News.
WeatherNation tailors local weather forecasts from certified meteorologists and the National Weather Service, just for you.
Culinary School offers free “courses” to help guide you in using ingredients and techniques from regions across the world.
ChefsFeed provides hundreds of original stories from the culinary space, cooking inspiration and mini-documentaries.
iFood.tv has 50,000+ videos and allows users to browse recipes by cuisines, ingredients and specialties, e.g. healthy, vegan, diabetic, allergy-free and seasonal choices.
The Eating Well app is a great resource for healthy recipes and nutrition tips. Experts help you meet your goals and guide you to healthy living.
Movies & TV Shows
Tubi is one of the leading ad-supported streaming services available. It offers all of its movies and TV shows for free with fewer ads than regular TV.
Crunchyroll provides the largest library of classic and modern Anime. Stream free, ad-supported movies and TV shows or become a premium user to watch ad-free.
Stream A-list movies, TV shows and originals with Crackle. No subscription needed for their On Demand service, so you can access their full library for free.
Pluto TV is a little different compared to these. They offer over 100 channels on news, sports, internet and over 1,000 movies and TV episodes—all for free!
XUMO is similar to Pluto TV where you can stream across 160+ channels, including CBSN, FOX Sports, PGA TOUR, PBS Digital Studios, Tastemade, Refinery29 and many more.
The YouTube app makes it super simple to send videos from your phone to your TV. Fair warning to be careful because you’ll probably get pulled into a YouTube binge session on your TV.
The PBS app is free to download and free to stream shows from Masterpiece, Frontline, Antiques Roadshow and more!
Binge like crazy with BuzzFeed and tune into free episodes of Try Guys, Worth It, BuzzFeed Unsolved and much more.
For the many people addicted to celebrity gossip and news, check out PeopleTV! It’s packed with free content on pop culture, cast reunion specials, celebrity profiles and red carpet events—all from the brands of People and Entertainment Weekly.
By no surprise, the Roku streaming device also has their own VOD app! It offers a freemium channel filled with big hit movies, TV shows, 24/7 live news and sports—regularly being updated with fresh content.
This app features over 1,000 pieces from popular series, including The Cat in the Hat, Curious George and Sesame Street.
Geared towards ages 0-10, HappyKids.tv is a great option for children to stream age-appropriate rhymes, music, TV shows, stories, activity guides and movies.
Parents are loving this channel for their little ones! Help your kids through the night and stream Kids Sleep Relax Dream TV for them. It’s full of calming, low-light videos.
Spotify is another platform who offers a freemium option for users to stream their favorite tunes—right from their Spotify Roku app.
Just like Spotify, Pandora offers ad-supported and premium options for their streamers. Listen to songs, full albums and playlists from your favorite artists.
Developed by NPR, Tiny Desk Concerts streams unique and intimate performances recorded live at the desk of All Songs Considered (hosted by Bob Boilen).
Find the perfect music for sleep, meditation and productivity. The Calm Radio app is a useful option with up to 400 sound channels to choose from. Listen for free with ads or subscribe with an account for premium listening.
Check Out Featured Free on Your Roku Device
If you don’t want to download more apps onto your Roku, just scroll down to the Featured Free tab on the home screen to access free content from some of the apps mentioned above. Roku’s Featured Free makes it super easy to access the latest episodes from in-season shows, complete seasons from past shows and popular Hollywood movies.