How Much Does Roku Cost Per Month? In this post, you will find everything you need to know about Roku channel pricing.
So you have finally gotten yourself one of those Roku players on sale for streaming. You plug it to into your TV and turn it on, go through the first-time setup wizard, and connect it to the internet; all relatively easy to follow.
But then it comes to adding channels to Roku, and you find yourself completely lost in the ocean of streaming services. Many of us have expressed the same feeling the first time we got our hands on a Roku device, wondering whether a particular channel is free, paid, or subscription-based.
Considering that there are hundreds of Roku channels with different subscription models and payment options, it can be overwhelming for new users who never had any experience with streaming before. If you happen to be one of them, be sure to read through this guide as we explain Roku channel prices in detail.
Are Roku Channels Free or Paid?
When you pick up a channel to add from the Roku Channel Store, you get two options: Add channel or Buy $x.xx. Usually, if you see the “Buy” option in the Channel Store, chances are that particular channel only asks for a one-time fee, and it probably doesn’t have a subscription model. It can be either an app, screensaver, or a game.
If you did add a payment method (e.g., credit card, PayPal) when signing up for your Roku account, your Roku would bill you for the one-time fee after confirming adding the paid channel. Those who registered for a Roku account without adding a payment method will need to visit my.roku.com/signin to update their billing information.
On the other hand, you will see the “Add channel” option when a channel is free to add or install on your Roku. You can add the channel to your Roku and launch it without worrying about getting charged. In fact, a significant percentage of Roku channels are available for free on the Channel Store.
However, suppose you add a premium video streaming channel (e.g., Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max). In that case, it will eventually ask you to register for an account through its official website and pay for a recurring subscription plan. Most of them even integrate Roku Pay so that users can conveniently sign up for the subscriptions directly through their Roku devices.
Despite the convenience factor Roku Pay provides, it also results in accidental purchases. Thus, we highly recommend you set a PIN preference for your Roku account from my.roku.com/account. It will save you from unintentionally adding a paid channel or subscribing to a premium service on your Roku.
When you pay for premium video/music streaming subscriptions from Roku Pay, you can also cancel or unsubscribe from the “Manage your subscriptions” section on the Roku account settings webpage. Follow the below steps to do it directly from your Roku:
- Highlight the streaming channel in question.
- Press the Star (✱) button on your Roku remote.
- Select Manage subscription in the options.
- Click Cancel subscription to unsubscribe.
Do Free Roku Channels Require Extra Fees?
We already established the fact that you can add free Roku channels without getting billed. However, when it comes to premium streaming services, you must visit their official web portals to register for an account and pay for recurring fees.
When browsing the Channel Store, such streaming channels on Roku carry the “Service may require additional fees” note. But a handful of free channels also don’t show that note even though they require extra fees. Thus, you might get billed for those channels when visiting their official websites and registering for a plan.
Besides monthly or annual subscriptions, free Roku channels may also include one-time purchases and rentals for individual content. Others might offer free trial periods, which you can activate by visiting a given website, creating an account, and then linking it to the channel by entering a unique activation code.
Most fee-based streaming services or Roku channels are pretty clear with their subscription models and billing periods. Sadly enough, a handful of them won’t give you any information until you go through the registration process.
Furthermore, the Channel Store doesn’t provide any info regarding the plans and pricing for a streaming channel; unless the developers choose to mention them in the descriptions.
What About the Roku Channels that Require TV Authentication?
TV Everywhere apps are available across several platforms, and they are also available as individual channels on Roku. They offer cable and satellite television subscribers access to live and on-demand content on their Roku players and TVs as part of their pay-TV package; at zero additional costs.
For instance, if your package includes CNN, you can stream the live TV feed and its news programming on-demand from the CNNgo channel on Roku. All you have to do is log into the following Roku channel with your provider credentials.
Similarly, you can have access to dozens of other popular US television networks on your Roku, including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CW, Telemundo, ESPN, Cartoon Network, and many more. The following TVE networks offer their 24/7 live TV feeds and provide on-demand access to the latest and past episodes of popular programs; all without requiring a separate cable box.
Although most American cable, satellite, and over-the-top live TV providers participate in the initiative, you accessing a channel’s TVE library solely depends on whether it supports your particular TV provider or not. If your provider isn’t listed on a channel’s authentication page, you will have to contact them and give your feedback.
What to do when Getting Billed for No Reason
If you find a charge from Roku on your credit card or PayPal account statement and you can’t figure out the reasoning behind it, immediately head over to my.roku.com/account/purchases and log into your Roku account to check your purchase history.
Subscriptions that you have set to renew automatically might be the reason behind the charge. Alternatively, it could be someone else in your house buying a paid channel from the Channel Store. This is why we recommend setting up a PIN for your Roku account so that you are the only one making purchases on your Roku device.
Also, bear in mind that Roku won’t bill you for no reason. If the charge is coming from some other company, contact them instead and ask for a refund. Roku isn’t responsible for any purchases you make through non-Roku websites.
We hope this guide has cleared your doubts regarding Roku channel prices. The monthly cost associated with your Roku simply depends on the streaming channels you are currently subscribed to.
On top of that, it’s also worth considering the additional purchases you make through your Roku device(s), along with your internet bills. If you are on a limited budget, you can cut your expenses on streaming plans by opting for ad-supported services, such as The Roku Channel, Pluto TV, XUMO, etc.