Entertainment

Porn companies switch to Chromecast and Fire TV after Roku deletes adult channels

Roku kicked all uncertified channels off its platform this week, closing a back door long popular with the adult entertainment industry.

Porn companies switch to Chromecast and Fire TV after Roku deletes adult channels

When Roku first announced the changes to its developer program, the company pointed out that this would align it more closely with the policies other platforms have in place for developers.

Image: Christopher T. Fong/Protocol

Roku effectively banned all porn channels from its platform this week, leading some major adult industry players to redirect people to other streaming devices. However, a few of the biggest publishers of adult content are still promoting their now-defunct Roku channels.

Roku pulled the plug on adult content on Wednesday when it removed all uncertified channels from its platform. The move was part of a broader realignment of Roku’s developer program first announced in November, which also includes a new Independent Developer Kit meant to help third-party developers test their channels with a small number of people.

Prior to these changes, developers could easily distribute codes to their users to test channels that weren’t available on Roku’s channel store yet. That effectively allowed publishers of adult content to launch their own Roku channels without having to adhere to Roku’s policies, which don’t allow channels with adult content in Roku’s channel store.

Predictably, the adult industry wasn’t happy about Roku’s policy changes. “We sincerely hope that Roku changes course on this horrible decision and once again allows companies to use their platform to distribute legal adult content,” declared adult VOD company AEBN in a statement published on its website, while also acknowledging that such a change in tune wasn’t very likely.

AEBN added Chromecast capabilities to its website in time before Roku pulled the plug on the company’s private channel, writing: “We sincerely hope this provides an alternative to the Roku Channel for large screen viewing.”

AEBN wasn’t alone in redirecting people to other streaming devices due to Roku’s changes. “We are exploring other options for television streaming and encourage you to do the same,” wrote Elegant Angel on its website, while SugarInstant informed (link not safe for work) visitors that it would continue to be available via “Playstation, Xbox, Chromecast, and screen mirroring.”

When Roku first announced the changes to its developer program, the company pointed out that this would align it more closely with the policies other platforms have in place for developers. However, some of the other streaming platforms do make it easier for developers and non-developers alike to sideload apps onto their devices.

That’s especially true for Android-based smart TV platforms, including Fire TV streaming devices — which is why adult entertainment studio Adult Time seems to have made Amazon’s streaming hardware its new platform of choice. “After February 23rd, 2022, Adult Time will no longer work on Roku,” the company wrote on its site (link not safe for work). “As an alternative, we recommend that you switch to a FireTV stick device, which are quite inexpensive.”

Not every adult industry company seems to have caught on to the recent changes. Pornhub, for example, is still advertising its Roku channel as a way to watch millions of clips for free, despite the fact that the channel was removed from Roku’s devices this week.

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