Roku users have no shortage of free streaming apps to choose from. But sometimes, having too many choices can be a bit of a challenge. So we’re rounding up 10 of our favorite free streaming apps that would make a great addition to anyone’s Roku gear, from the budget-minded Roku Express to the top-of-the-line Ultra.
And by “free,” we’re talking about streaming apps that are free to download and that offer access to all of their library, or at least a significant portion, without any additional one-time or monthly fees. And for first-time streamers out there: Many of these free options are ad-supported. So you might run into some ad breaks during your viewing, not too unlike traditional cable TV — though, hopefully, those breaks are less frequent.
With that being said, here’s our list of the top 10 free streaming apps all Roku owners should try out!
The Top Free Streaming Apps for Movies and TV Shows
The ViacomCBS-owned Pluto TV remains a major player in the world of free streaming services. The app offers up both live TV streaming via hundreds of channels, as well as on demand options, and the ability customize your experience with favorites. You’ll have access to new and old movies and TV shows, including new episodes of shows that ViacomCBS might be teasing in the hopes you’ll sign up for paid services like Paramount+ or Showtime.
Another major player in the free streaming field, Tubi offers up a mix of movies and TV shows in both live TV and on demand formats.
The Roku Channel
Roku continues to invest more and more into its own streaming platform, The Roku Channel. In addition to a slate of free streaming channels, the company is also building up a library of exclusive and original content.
Plex continues to branch out and make a name for itself beyond its roots as a home media platform. These days, it offers up a sizable amount of free live and on demand content through its app.
A veteran name in the streaming industry, Crackle continues to offer an impressive mix of free content, as well as original shows and movies.
The Amazon-owned IMDb TV is also a popular destination for free, ad-supported content. And despite being a natural fit for Amazon’s Fire TV line, the app is also available on Roku devices.
Sinclair’s STIRR service offers up a mix of free movies and shows, alongside localized news and other content — based on your location.
Comcast’s XUMO continues to offer a wide selection of movies and TV shows. And like many of its competitors, XUMO regularly adds more free channels to its lineup.
The Top Free News And Weather Apps
If you’re more interested in access to free news and weather, Local Now is a solid option. You can select a location and this Weather Channel spinoff will serve up relevant info, including news reports and forecasts.
Haystack News also offers a growing selection of news and weather, including results tailored to locations around the country.
Other Free Streaming Apps to Consider
Redbox has been working to establish itself beyond its fleet of red rental kiosks. In addition to its online rental services, the company now offers free live and on demand shows and movies.
Kanopy offers free media in partnership with local libraries and universities. You can check if our local options are supported here.
Another service that focuses on libraries, Hoopla offers access to movies, shows, ebooks, and more. You can find out more about the free service here.
And you can check out our recent roundup of our favorite free streaming devices via the embedded video below.