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South by Southwest launches an original video network

Michael Brown | March 11, 2015
Programming will be available on Roku players and Roku TV models.

South by Southwest

Can't get to Austin for the annual South by Southwest hoedown? If you have a Roku box or Roku TV, you'll be able to watch a live stream of the conference plus original programming developed by its organizer. SXSW On is a free on-demand streaming network that will offer live and archival concert performances, keynote speeches, and panel discussions.

SXSW will also present video streams on its own website at and on YouTube, but the SXSW On channel on Roku will feature three running shows: SXSW Live, selected live performances, interviews, and panel discussions on music, movies, and video games from the 2015 show; The Road, a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of touring musicians; and The Nom Nom, a food show focused on new and up-and-coming restaurants.

"Having a dedicated network of original programming [on Roku] through the lens of SXSW is a leap forward for our organization," said SXSW Director of Technology Scott Wilcox, "and promises a bright future as a provider in the media landscape."

SXSW draws huge crowds of young people, and it's no longer just technology, movie, and record companies that have taken notice and want to market to that audience. This year's sponsors include Pepsi, MacDonalds, and Mazda. That's led many--including Macworld editor Caitlin McGarry--to wonder if the tech festival is losing its way.


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