Roku Adds Apple TV+ Button to Remotes

Apple is taking a new approach to promoting its streaming service Apple TV+. Apple now has a channel shortcut button on Roku remotes, alongside Disney+, Netflix, and Hulu.

The New York Post spotted the update to remotes on Roku’s website Wednesday morning with the featured image on the website showing the Roku Ultra with the new button, though no announcement was made by Roku about the update. The Verge first reported that the button would be added to the new Roku Voice Remote Pro back in April.

Products with the updated remote featuring the new button are showing up on online retailers, including the Roku Express 4K+ on Amazon.

The move comes just after Apple announced that free trials for Apple TV+ are being reduced from a full year to 3 months. The one year free trial was introduced with the launch of Apple TV+ in November 2019 and the promo offer was extended twice since. According to MoffettNathan’s Q4 2020 SVOD Tracker report, 62% of Apple TV+ subscribers were still utilizing the free trial at the end of last year, with only 30% saying they intended to keep their subscription after their free trial ended and the full subscription price of $4.99 kicks in.

The NY Post notes an Ampere Analysis estimate that Apple TV+ had 40 million subscribers by the end of 2020, falling behind Netflix at 208 million and Disney+ at 100 million. Both competitors also have branded buttons on Roku remotes.

Apple TV+ has over 90 shows, movies, and documentaries including “Ted Lasso” and “The Morning Show,” which have both been renewed for a second season.