AccuWeather Now officially launches, first on Roku Channel

(Graphic by The Desk)

Weather forecaster AccuWeather has formally launched its free, ad-supported streaming service AccuWeather Now, with the Roku Channel getting first dibs at the new streamer.

The channel was among a dozen new linear feeds added to the Roku Channel, which is free to users of the popular Roku streaming platform as well as those who have the Roku app installed on Apple, Android and Amazon Fire devices.

“Weather impacts everything we do, and weather news and information are increasingly fascinating to streaming audiences who have a special appreciation for compelling, highly visual content from a trusted source,” Sara Katt, the general manager of AccuWeather, said in a statement. “We are delighted to join Roku’s innovative platform to help drive even more viewer engagement with a universal topic that is top news and top of mind with all audiences everywhere.”

AccuWeather Now was first announced in late July, with executives promising around-the-clock weather forecasts interspersed with documentaries and coverage of “extreme and natural events.”

“AccuWeather Now will meet a growing demand for weather and climate news and content, and complement AccuWeather’s existing suite of platforms,” a company spokesperson said in a statement.

No launch date was specified at the time, but Roku appears to have secured first distribution for the streaming service, which is expected to compete against free weather offering WeatherNation and the upcoming streaming service Fox Weather.

The streamer is separate from the AccuWeather Network, a pay television channel distributed to cable, satellite and some streaming services like Philo as a lower-cost alternate to the Weather Channel. The channel reaches more than 36 million households, the company said.

The launch of AccuWeather Now helps AccuWeather further expand its reach: The Roku Channel accrued more than 63 million viewers at the end of last year, and that number is expected to continue to rise as more streamers eye free, ad-supported services to support subscription video services like Netflix and Amazon Prime.

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