New Roku Activations Unlock Tons Of Free Premium Content

Giving or getting a Roku this Christmas? The streaming pioneer has lined up an impressive array of free trials. Some of the more compelling offerings:

  • Hulu – 3 months free
  • HBO Now – 1 month free
  • Netflix – 1 month free
  • Showtime – 1 month free
  • CinemaNow – 3 movie rentals


Some of the promos, like Netflix can be applied to (certain) existing accounts, whereas Hulu and HBO require new identities. But while the terms may slightly vary, the bottom line is you’re going to need to link up a Roku account with your credit card and remember to cancel any subscription before the trial is up. Unless you’re so enamored with the service you choose to carry on — which, of course, is their hope.

Having recently outfitted both our kitchen and guest bedroom with 32″ Roku TVs, I took advantage of the Hulu trial. Despite the commercial interruption, we thoroughly enjoyed the first season of Manhattan and are currently bingeing the Hulu-original Casual. We have until 1/16 to activate any of the others before the promotion period expires… and it sounds like I’ll want to catch up on new seasons of Showtime’s Homeland and The Affair.

7 thoughts on “New Roku Activations Unlock Tons Of Free Premium Content”

  1. The extra $4/month for ad-free Hulu is most definitely worth it. Lots of great stuff on there, including lots of French New Wave films. Law & Order without commercials is pretty boss too.

  2. “The extra $4/month for ad-free Hulu is most definitely worth it. Lots of great stuff on there, including lots of French New Wave films.”

    Not just French New Wave. Lots of other foreign classics, plus plenty of great US indies too. Much of it is Criterion Collection, of course. But there a goodly amount of film-lovers delight on Hulu even beyond Criterion.

    I first signed up only when the ad-free option appeared. (Down with Xenu!) I expected to cancel when my free month was up, but I’m still there. The teevee selection has been a total and complete bust for me, but given that I’ve been watching more Hulu than Amazon Prime, not ready to cancel.

    (BTW, Alan, assuming that like all sane folks, you agree with me that the Apple OTT service is Forever Vaporware, have you ever written anything about it? I’m always amazed how folks don’t see the obvious just cuz it’s Apple…)

  3. The Qello 30 day free trial doesn’t appear to be tied to a new Roku activation. Anyone know how to sign up for it?

  4. dwgsp, I’d log out of Quello on the Roku or unsubscribe from, if you already have an account, and then launch it again to see what offers you’re presented with.

    Chucky, Alan, I had a two week free trial of the ad-free Hulu a month or so back. I forget what we ended up watching, but I did appreciate it more without interruptions. If I stick with it after my freebie period, I’ll pay to remove the ads. Fortunately, I haven’t seen any McDonalds or Scientology spots. But I did see the most insane Soylent ad earlier today. Some sort of family feast with a rotating turkey on the table and an astronaut in the room.

  5. I am 100% with you on Apple, Chucky.

    I can find you some links for previous bits I’ve written and working on a story about how it’s definitely never going to happen now that all the MVPDs are launching their own OTT services that would compete with it (e.g Go90, Stream, Sling, etc.)

    Here– this is about their alleged original content play and new box but does dismiss the notion of an OTT play:

    DZ: Did not realize Soylent had raised enough money to shoot TV spots.

  6. “Here– this is about their alleged original content play and new box but does dismiss the notion of an OTT play”

    Yup. A fine piece, Alan. You’re dead-on regarding both the OTT and original content aspects. Especially liked how you got specific with my own long-term hobbyhorse: how the film/TV industry actually learned lessons from Apple drinking the music industry’s milkshake.

    (But, of course, the Apple OTT service will continue to be Big News every couple of months, just cuz it’s Apple. That’s what makes it such great Vaporware Forever.)

    Along those same lines, I’ve always found the Sling TV solution to be quite clever, in the numerous ways the content folks made damn sure it was unattractive enough to not attract anyone but broke millennials who otherwise wouldn’t be paying a penny. Not to mention the hard subscriber limits written into some of the content contracts as an emergency backstop…

    With stuff like Sling TV and the Time-Warner CEO’s talk of not minding folks sharing their HBO Go passwords, the industry has been good at hooking broke millennials into the ecosystem without undercutting an actually viable economic model.

  7. “But I did see the most insane Soylent ad earlier today.”

    Dave, I bet you’d spin right ’round like a record on Solylent and become an acolyte if only they’d put a chip in it. With smartphone integration, the sky is the limit…

    (Hey, that reminds me. I gotta work on getting a consulting contract with David Miscavige on finding a way to put a chip into Scientology.)

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