Roku has expanded its streaming options this week thanks to securing a channel for the new streaming service Brown Sugar. Brown Sugar bills itself as “like Netflix, only blacker” and carries a wide range of content aimed at African-American audiences. Brown Sugar’s library features a wide range of classic and contemporary films and series, including what it calls a “Black explosion of hot chicks, cool cats, and cult classics.” Calandria Meadows, VP of digital content for parent company Katz Broadcasting, told Variety that the service is aimed at African-American Roku users looking for “entertainment that looks like them.”
Iconic retro Blaxploitation films like Shaft, Blacula, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song are available for streaming alongside newer takes on the genre like Black Dynamite and Jackie Brown. “We really felt like there was a gap in the marketplace,” Meadows says about Brown Sugar’s somewhat niche offerings. When Brown Sugar was launched, rapper and entrepreneur Rick Ross noted that these films have had a huge impact on current pop culture. “You can see the influence of these movies in every aspect of rap and hip-hop; in the music, the lyrics, the fashion and overall style” Ross says, “the blaxploitation genre is where it all began.”
Brown Sugar even includes comedy specials from legends like Richard Pryor and Cedric The Entertainer, documentary series and musical performances, classic sports broadcasts, and more. The service has just expanded their library to now offer over 300 movies and is moving towards adding live streaming broadcasts of boxing matches. Brown Sugar hasn’t yet released any data about its subscriber totals, but Katz Broadcasting CEO Jonathan Katz assures that “growth has been steady and solid.”
Brown Sugar costs $3.99 a month and is available on Roku, iOS and Android mobile devices and Chromecast. Interested new users can try out Brown Sugar with a free seven-day trial.