Brown Sugar Streaming Service Launches on Roku (EXCLUSIVE)

Brown Sugar, the streaming video service that bills itself as being “like Netflix, only blacker,” officially launched a channel on Roku streaming devices Friday. Katz Broadcasting VP of digital content Calandria Meadows told Variety that the service is looking to target African-American Roku users with “entertainment that looks like them.”

Katz, which also operates African-American TV network Bounce TV, launched Brown Sugar as a standalone streaming service for Blaxploitation movies and similar fare last November. “We really felt like there was a gap in the marketplace,” said Meadows, as other streaming services were ignoring 70s classics like “Shaft” and “Foxy Brown.”

Brown Sugar, which charges consumers $3.99 per month, initially launched on iOS, Android and Chromecast, and has since expanded to Kindle Fire tablets as well. Jonathan Katz, CEO of Katz Networks declined to talk about the service’s subscriber numbers, but said that “growth has been steady and solid.”

Katz also said that Brown Sugar has steadily expanding its content offering, from around 100 movies at launch to close to 300 titles to date. In addition, the service has been getting in-season episodes of Bounce TV shows, and has begun to stream select boxing matches.

Eventually, Brown Sugar may also produce its own shows, much like Netflix does today “We are looking at original content,” said Katz. However, he also said that the service still has what he called “a long runway” of acquired content at its disposal.

Speaking of Netflix: Katz and Meadows didn’t seem too concerned about competition from the streaming giant. “We believe that this is not a zero-sum game,” said Katz. Ultimately, Netflix would teach consumers to pay for streaming, and Netflix users were more likely to subscribe to Brown Sugar as well than other consumers.

More Digital

  • Lyor Cohen

    South By Southwest: YouTube's Lyor Cohen Set to Keynote

    Brown Sugar, the streaming video service that bills itself as being “like Netflix, only blacker,” officially launched a channel on Roku streaming devices Friday. Katz Broadcasting VP of digital content Calandria Meadows told Variety that the service is looking to target African-American Roku users with “entertainment that looks like them.” Katz, which also operates African-American […]

  • I Love You, Daddy

    Louis C.K.'s 'I Love You, Daddy' Leaks Online After Being Pulled From Theatrical Release

    Brown Sugar, the streaming video service that bills itself as being “like Netflix, only blacker,” officially launched a channel on Roku streaming devices Friday. Katz Broadcasting VP of digital content Calandria Meadows told Variety that the service is looking to target African-American Roku users with “entertainment that looks like them.” Katz, which also operates African-American […]

  • Ajit Pai net neutrality

    Hundreds of Musicians -- From R.E.M. to Turnip King -- Sign Statement Defending Net Neutrality

    Brown Sugar, the streaming video service that bills itself as being “like Netflix, only blacker,” officially launched a channel on Roku streaming devices Friday. Katz Broadcasting VP of digital content Calandria Meadows told Variety that the service is looking to target African-American Roku users with “entertainment that looks like them.” Katz, which also operates African-American […]

  • Apple - Philip Matthys and Jennifer

    Apple Raids Hulu, Legendary to Fill Business Affairs Posts on Content Team (EXCLUSIVE)

    Brown Sugar, the streaming video service that bills itself as being “like Netflix, only blacker,” officially launched a channel on Roku streaming devices Friday. Katz Broadcasting VP of digital content Calandria Meadows told Variety that the service is looking to target African-American Roku users with “entertainment that looks like them.” Katz, which also operates African-American […]

  • AR Studio Open Beta_Partner Effects

    'Star Wars' Stickers and World Filters: Facebook and Google Are Trying to Catch Up on AR

    Brown Sugar, the streaming video service that bills itself as being “like Netflix, only blacker,” officially launched a channel on Roku streaming devices Friday. Katz Broadcasting VP of digital content Calandria Meadows told Variety that the service is looking to target African-American Roku users with “entertainment that looks like them.” Katz, which also operates African-American […]

  • JUMANJI- WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE

    ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    Brown Sugar, the streaming video service that bills itself as being “like Netflix, only blacker,” officially launched a channel on Roku streaming devices Friday. Katz Broadcasting VP of digital content Calandria Meadows told Variety that the service is looking to target African-American Roku users with “entertainment that looks like them.” Katz, which also operates African-American […]

  • CW - EA MADDEN NFL 18

    CW, EA Team on 'Madden NFL 18' eSports 'Survivor'-Style Special for TV

    Brown Sugar, the streaming video service that bills itself as being “like Netflix, only blacker,” officially launched a channel on Roku streaming devices Friday. Katz Broadcasting VP of digital content Calandria Meadows told Variety that the service is looking to target African-American Roku users with “entertainment that looks like them.” Katz, which also operates African-American […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content