Roku today announced its earnings for the fourth quarter of 2020 and year-end results, marking some 51.2 million active accounts — an increase of about 5.2 million from Q3, and up 39 percent year over year.
The company also noted that its Roku TV OS remained the No. 1 smart TV operating system in the United States, and that it had a 38 percent unit share of all smart TVs sold in 2020.
Revenue on the Roku platform side of the business — which includes things like on-screen advertising — was up 81 percent year over year, which should be no surprise given the overall increase in streaming in 2020 due to folks staying home more because of the global pandemic. Revenue on the Roku player side of the shop — hardware, that is — was up 18 percent year over year.
The big question going into this earnings release (though not really, because most companies tend to not actually announce news via earnings releases) was around content itself, thanks to a job listing unearthed earlier in the week that alluded to potential original content from Roku. Nothing of that sort has been announced, though Roku did remind everyone that it will present the content it purchased from the now-defunct Quibi later this year.
That will help prop up The Roku Channel even further, which already has a strong contingent of free movies and shows a la Tubi TV, Pluto TV, or IMDB TV. Roku notes that it added 50 linear channels in the fourth quarter alone. (And it'll also help Roku in its battle for advertising against free online movie alternatives like Tubi. Yes, there's a good bit of double-dipping in this space.)
The Roku Channel reached an estimated 63 million people in the fourth quarter, Roku said. It also noted that streaming hours for the year increased to a record 58.7 billion.
Phil spent his 20s in the newsroom of the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, his 30s on the road for AndroidCentral.com and Mobile Nations, is the Dad part of Modern Dad, and is editor of WhatToWatch.com.
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