nScreenMedia OTT multiscreen media analysis

CandW discuss Roku Q4 player losses and Nielsen numbers

VideoNuze nScreenMedia podcast

Roku didn’t make any money on player sales in Q4 2019, but it is continuing to prosper anyway. Nielsen numbers say streaming is still a small part of video consumption, but that could be hiding the truth about how successful streaming really is.

Chapter 1: 2019 a successful year for Roku (1:00)

I review Roku’s Q4 and full-year results for 2019. The company breached the billion-dollar barrier, increased active accounts by 36%, ARPU by 29%, and streaming hours by 60%. Interestingly, the amount of time each active user watched declined one minute between Q3 and Q4. However, Roku had an interesting and plausible explanation for why it happened, which both Will and I took as a positive for the company.

Chapter 2: Player margins went negative in Q4 (6:30)

The fourth quarter is usually a strong performer for Roku, and Q4 2019 was no exception. The company doubled revenue in player sales in Q4 over Q3. However, it made a slight loss on all those sticks and boxes it sold. Will explains why it happened and why it is a good thing overall for the company.

Chapter 3: Justification for the Roku/Fox fight (11:30)

Just before the Super Bowl, Roku pulled support for the Fox apps running on its devices. The dispute was quickly resolved and support for the apps was back the next day. We discuss what the Roku executives had to say about it.

Chapter 4: Roku in international markets (15:20)

Executives said that international markets weren’t yet making a significant contribution to revenue. However, they highlight some details in the Americas that were showing encouraging signs. Europe, however, could be a struggle.

Chapter 5: Handicapping The Roku Channel (17:20)

The free ad-supported TV space is getting very competitive. There were three announcements this week, which shows the area is getting more crowded. It could be tough for The Roku Channel to continue growing at the pace it has in the past.

Chapter 6: New Nielsen viewing numbers for Q3 2019 (19:30)

Nielsen data shows that streaming is still a relatively small part of overall viewing when data is averaged over the entire population. However, digging deeper into the data shows that it is a significant part of viewing for the 109 million people that used a connected TV in Q4.

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