Roku reaches 70M active accounts

Roku on Thursday announced passing 70 million active accounts globally, as streaming hours ticked up.

The figure reflects a nearly 10 million bump from the 60.1 million active accounts Roku had in Q4 2021, and up from the 65.4 million it had at the end of Q3 2022. The active account growth is similar to the roughly 10 million increase Roku saw from the end of 2020 to the end of 2021.

Roku also released preliminary metrics for streaming hours, which reached 23.9 billion in Q4 and 87.4 billion for the full year 2022, reflecting a 19% year over year jump.

The streaming device player reports final quarterly and full-year 2022 earnings in February. Roku in Q3 warned investors of a tough fourth quarter as advertisers pulled back spending in the face of economic uncertainty and slowdown.

“As consumers continue the shift to TV streaming, we’re excited that a growing number of people are taking the journey with Roku, and we’re proud to reach this meaningful milestone today,” said Roku Founder and CEO Anthony Wood, in a statement. “Roku is laser-focused on delivering affordable, easy-to-use products and an operating system that makes streaming accessible to all.”

Announcing the 70 million mark comes the same week as Roku debuted its first lineup of branded smart TVs, which are poised to hit the U.S. this spring.

In the U.S. Samsung, Vizio and LG have led the TVOS smart TV market, while Roku and Amazon are leaders in the streaming device space. However, as Parks Associates data shows, smart TV adoption in the U.S. is on the rise while streaming devices have plateaued.

And TVREV co-founder and analyst Alan Wolk expects the CTV OS wars will be the most important battle in streaming for 2023, though most of the action is happening outside the U.S.

TVOS is a big deal, Wolk wrote in a January 3 blog, because with ownership of the smart TV interface also comes power.

“They are the gatekeepers for programming: which apps to allow on the interface, how easy they are to find, how much those programmers have to pay to have their content featured on the home screen,” wrote Wolk. “Owning the OS also gives those companies a lot of data about program and ad viewership that they can both monetize and use to improve the consumer experience.”

Additionally, he said it allows the company to create revenue streams from tune-in advertising and FAST services (as seen with Samsung TV Plus, Vizio’s WatchFree+ and LG Channels – Roku also has this with The Roku Channel).

According to Wolk, the TV OS market in around 40% of the world is still open for someone to secure share “most of which is in regions where the question of who will control the content market is up for grabs as well.”

As for the U.S. on Thursday Comcast and Charter’s joint venture to offer a next-gen streaming platform (now named Xumo) announced plans to launch a new line of 4K Ultra HD Xumo smart TVs, in partnership with Element Electronics, across the U.S. in 2023.