Ahead of its announcements of new TV partnerships at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Roku today shared some new numbers about the growing traction of its overall platform. The company said the number of active accounts grew 40 percent year-over-year in 2018, to top 27 million by year-end. In addition, its total streaming hours grew 61 percent year-over-year to 24 billion hours of movies, TV shows, sports and more being streamed across its devices.
In Q4 2018 alone, Roku users streamed an estimated 7.3 billion hours, up about 68 percent year-over-year.
Roku’s decision to release new numbers about active users and hours streamed comes at a time when the company itself is becoming more competitive with streaming services themselves, instead of just offering a platform on which their apps can run. In fall 2017 Roku began to aggregate the free content from the various channels across its platform in its own Roku Channel, then combined that with content it licensed directly from studios. This free, ad-supported content has given Roku a way to further grow its advertising revenues.
Since its launch, the channel has added more types of content, including sports, news and entertainment from both traditional and digital studios, and just last week launched its own set of premium subscriptions where it gets a cut of customers’ purchases.
Some analysts now believe the Roku Channel’s average revenue per user is now the fastest-growing contributor to overall revenue growth at Roku
Now Roku is working with more manufacturers to get its Roku OS – and therefore its Roku Channel – in front of more people.
At CES this week, Roku announced the Westinghouse Electronics was joining the Roku TV licensing program.
It also announced a partnership with TV brand TCL. The two companies will work together to make 8K TCL Roku TVs that will become available to consumers in late 2019. As a result of catering to TV makers, Roku said it’s updating its 4K and HDR hardware reference design to include far-field microphones for voice search and control. TCL will be the first to deliver these TV models in 2019.