In the architecture of the ad-delivery content machines we call free streaming channels, adding additional language options just makes sense. More users can get a streaming fix in their native tongue, and more opportunities open up to monetize eyeballs everywhere. The Roku Channel, the free service that comes preloaded onto all of Roku, has emphasized that strategic commitment this week with the launch of a new hub en español: Espacio Latino.
This nuevo destino for Spanish speakers, which is live as of today, rolls both existing programming and new content under one banner. Roku Originals programming on the channel includes the recently released Mamas, narrated in Spanish by Zoë Saldaña, and the upcoming Natural Born Narco, which drops July 8. It’ll also be the exclusive streaming home of titles Hernan, Hunting Ava Bravo, and Enamorada. The hub also features 50 live Spanish-language channels spanning sports, news entertainment, telenovelas, movies, and music categories. Some of this content comes from existing partnerships with the likes of TelevisaUnivision, Sony Pictures Television, Pantaya, and EstrellaTV, while others are freshly added to the service, including Weather Channel en Español and Canela.TV, among others. ¡Bien hecho!
Of course, it makes perfect sense for Roku to experiment with ways to reach the United States’ estimated 41 million Spanish speakers. Its competitors are too: Tubi, the free service owned by Fox, features several of the same movie titles Roku has under categories like Películas en Español and Ganadores y Nominados, while Paramount Streaming’s Pluto TV has a category of live channels called En Español, and NBC’s Peacock has a Peacock Latino channel and Latinx Voices hub. Netflix, in spite of its troubles, has several telenovelas out already this year with more on the way and used Latin America as its testing ground for password experimentation. Everyone seems to know that understanding your Spanish-speaking viewers es una buena idea.