Roku snags Martha Stewart, Emeril and others for its original programming push

·2 min read

It is the second day of NewFronts, and the announcements continue. Roku today said it will extend its content library in hopes to target audiences who are fans of lifestyle, cooking, home renovation, and reality television. The company has two new co-production deals with Marquee Brands and Milk Street Studios, giving The Roku Channel seven original series starring food & lifestyle personalities Martha Stewart, Emeril Lagasse, and Chris Kimball.

The deals will also bring over 3,000 episodes of library content, adding to the over 70,000 programs already on the streamer. Coming to the service are past seasons of "Martha Bakes," "Martha Stewart's Cooking School," "Martha Stewart Living," "Essence of Emeril," "Emeril Live," and "Christopher Kimball's Milk Street Television."

The new original series coming to The Roku Channel include "Martha Cooks," "Martha Holidays" (working title), "Martha Gardens," "Emeril Cooks," "Emeril Tailgates," "Milk Street's Cooking School," and "Milk Street's My Family Recipe."

Rob Holmes, Vice President, Programming, Roku, said in a statement,

“We are thrilled to bring our viewers this standout content from culinary and cultural powerhouses Martha Stewart, Emeril Lagasse, and Chris Kimball – for free. The Roku Channel’s impressive reach, incredibly engaged user base, and successful monetization model continues to make it an attractive destination for content partners and established talent to elevate their programming and connect with streaming audiences at scale. These exciting first-of-their-kind partnerships for Roku with Marquee Brands and Milk Street Studios showcase our unique ability to drive value across the streaming ecosystem.”

In its Q1 2022 earnings report, The Roku Channel reported a total of 20.9 billion hours streamed, up 14% from last quarter. These new deals demonstrate Roku’s interest in free food and lifestyle content for its viewers and how the company plans to continue subscriber growth.

During the presentation, Roku also shared that it would be adding even more original content to The Roku Channel, like its first-ever Spanish language cooking series “Delicioso,” home improvement programs like “Honest Renovations” with Lizzie Mathis and Jessica Alba, and more.

Holmes said that this new slate was handpicked to align with the audiences that love this type of content. "Great dramas and comedies, amazing lifestyle shows, new reality and competition formats that are built for the streaming generation." He then announces The Roku Channel's new reality rom-com "To Paris for Love: A Rom Com," because his argument was that streamers "love binging reality dating shows-- because who doesn't?"

In 2021, Nielsen reported that across platforms, reality was a top contender in streaming lists. In a time where major competitors (like Netflix) fumble the ball with content, the FAST (free ad-supported streaming TV) service is positioning itself as a tempting option for binge-watchers who desire free content.