Roku Climbs to Nearly 37 Million Active Accounts

Roku at IGNITION Future of Media at Time Warner Center - Getty -H 2019
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People streamed 11.7 billion hours of programming via the Roku platform during the final three months of 2019.

Roku added nearly 10 million new active accounts during 2019 as it prepares to enter for what CEO Anthony Wood is calling "the streaming decade."

The company, which makes and sells connected TV devices, now has 36.9 million active accounts on its video streaming platform that during the final three months of 2019 streamed 11.7 billion hours of programming. The growth in streaming helped boost its platform revenue 71 percent to $259.6 million. 

Roku, which has invested in building out its streaming ecosystem, earns the majority of its revenue from advertising on its platform. Device sales, meanwhile, generated $151.6 million, up 22 percent year over year. 

All told, Roku earned $411.2 million during the fourth quarter but had a net loss of 13 cents per share, it reported Thursday, beating Wall Street expectations. 

"Millions of consumers, the biggest names in media, leading advertisers and global TV brands are embracing streaming," said Wood in a note. "Moreover, new services and the growing investment in original programming that is exclusive to streaming are enriching the OTT experience. This is driving more viewers to spend more time streaming and less time in traditional pay TV, and many consumers are leaving the legacy pay TV ecosystem entirely." 

He continued, "We believe that we are well positioned to thrive in this new decade based on our increasing brand strength, the scale of our growing active account base, our purpose-built TV streaming operating system and first party customer relationships with growing engagement. We set the pace for innovation and Roku is a key partner for content publishers, advertisers and TV brands."

Roku also disclosed that The Roku Channel, which offers a curated mix of free, ad-supported programming, ended 2019 with 56 million viewers. 

The company expects to bring in $1.6 billion in revenue in 2020 and will look to be roughly break even on an adjusted EBITDA basis. 

Wood ended the note by writing, "While 2019 was a tipping point in commitments to streaming, the full force of change is still to come."