The new AMC Channel for Roku launched last week and we took a look. Roku has a number of channels available under the TV everywhere classification. While some of Roku’s cord cutting users fans complain that they require cable subscriptions to unlock content the channels, typically the channels from the major cable properties and broadcast networks are well put together, easy to use and navigate. Unfortunately, AMC’s first attempt at a Roku channel does not deliver in those basic aspects. Continue to learn what our issues with the AMC Channel for Roku are.
Each selection provides great artwork that engulfs the entire screen. The channel is broken up into two rows as opposed to a full grid or more engaging format. The long carousel approach harkens back to early Roku channels like those for the original Roku before OTT applications were emphasized at media companies.
The channel does not break its offerings into categories. While the network specializes in drama there are still ways to break the content into bite-sized pieces. Anyone who looks at the appetizers at a restaurant knows audiences love bite-sized portions like mini cheeseburgers, wings, tenders, nuggets etc. I shouldn’t write when I’m hungry. But when exploring an OTT channel it is helpful to have it broken down somehow. “New Series”, “Returning this Fall”, “Biggest Hits”. In the case of AMC, for instance, it could help its branding by lumping all of the shows that talk about shows into a category of their own as I’m sure this genre will grow on the network. It has even proven popular on other channels think “After The Thrones” on HBO.
No Subscription Free Episodes
While we fully understand that this channel is to promote a cable TV network throwing in one episode of a series would not destroy the cable TV model. Not offering any content at all besides short clips gives a possible new audience little reason to start a show or discover a new favorite.
Can’t Watch Full Series Runs
One of the things keeping OTT streaming from being a fully integrated part of the landscape is that it feels fractured. Viewers in many cases can not see past seasons of most shows on the network. This even includes those who sign in. The Walking Dead, for instance, does not even have one season available for streaming through the channel. Historical drama “Turn” has 10 episodes from season 3 and the extras from season 1 and 2. This may well be due to agreements with other partners like Netflix but it hampers the offerings greatly.
Hard To Read
The second row of the AMC Roku channel is called “Full Episodes” which can be confusing as most shows featured in the first-row offer full episodes too. But aside from that point, the full episode row reads like an eye test. The fonts used are difficult to see against the backgrounds used in the thumbnails. The font is thin, the writing is white and often the picture featured seems to include a lot of natural light and bright colors that drown out the letters and numbers intended to give an audience an idea of what they will be watching. On top of that, all of the artwork is small, more like an app on a smartphone instead of the large immersive artwork and splash screens we are used to seeing on TV apps like Hulu. In our video, for instance, we compare the channel with NBC’s TV everywhere app.