Roku turned in top-line revenue of $411.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2019, up 49% and beating Wall Street forecasts, which was driven by a 71% pop in advertising revenue.
The streaming media player and platform company said it added a record 4.6 million incremental active accounts in Q4, to end 2019 with 36.9 million active accounts (up 36% year over year). Streaming hours increased by 16.3 billion hours over last year, up 68% year-over-year to a record 40.3 billion in 2019.
Roku swung to a net loss of $15.7 million, or a net loss of 13 cents per share, in the year-end quarter. Analyst consensus estimates pegged the company’s Q4 revenue at $391.6 million and a net loss of 14 cents per share.
Roku shares were up more than 7% in after-hours trading.
In its Q4 letter to shareholders, Roku reiterated its strategy of “being a neutral partner at the center of the streaming ecosystem” — i.e., it works with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney Plus and numerous others to distribute their services. The company also continues on its path of “building capabilities to aggregate content and engage viewers, and further strengthening our unique advertising platform which offers superior capabilities for brands.”
Pointing to expected growth in the years ahead, Roku said the next 10 years will be the “Streaming Decade” and predicted that by 2024 roughly half of all U.S. TV households will have canceled pay TV or will never have subscribed to traditional cable or satellite pay TV. “While streaming became mainstream in the last decade, it is still a minority of TV viewing,” the company said in the shareholder letter. Nielsen estimates that streaming video accounted for 19% of time Americans spent watching TV in 2019.
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In 2019, the free, ad-supported Roku Channel reached active accounts with an estimated 56 million viewers. The company said it drove growth in streaming hours of the Roku Channel at an even faster rate than overall streaming hours growth rate in 2019 “by continually expanding the quality and scope of the ad-supported offering, launching new subscription channels and investing in our product and capabilities.” Roku Channel has more than 40 premium subscription channels and now offers more than 55 live linear channels.
In Q4, average revenue per user (ARPU) increased by $5.19, up 29% to $23.14 on a trailing 12-month basis.
More to come.
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