Yes, to add channels and start streaming on your Roku streaming player or Roku TV you need to create a Roku account.
What is a Roku account?
Your Roku account stores which Roku streaming devices you own and which channels you have installed, as well as your preferences and settings. It’s important to have a valid email address associated with your Roku account in order to manage your account and to receive important account notifications. Similarly, you should choose a strong, secure password. For guidelines, refer to the U.S. Homeland Security article, Choosing and Protecting Passwords.
Why do I need a Roku account?
Before you can start streaming media content, channels must be downloaded and installed on your Roku streaming device. To accomplish this, your Roku device must be linked to a Roku account. With a Roku account, not only can you add channels from the Roku Channel Store, but you can also manage your subscriptions and linked devices, view your purchase history, and update preferences such as your PIN and payment method.
How do I create a Roku account?
When you activate your Roku streaming device, it must be linked to a Roku account. If you do not already have an account, you will be asked to create one. There are no fees associated with creating a Roku account, but you will be asked to provide a payment method, e.g. credit card. The payment method linked to your Roku account allows you to purchase subscriptions to popular channels, rent or buy movies and TV shows, or make other purchases from the Roku Channel Store.
Adding or changing your payment method does not result in any charges to your account. You will only be charged after going through the additional steps required to make a purchase; e.g. when signing-up for a subscription, renting or buying a movie or TV show, or adding a channel from the Roku Channel Store.
Multiple Roku streaming devices can be linked to the same Roku account.
A Roku account can also be created before you activate your Roku device at my.roku.com/signup.