Roku Grows Users, Streaming Hours as Losses Mount

(Image credit: Roku)

SAN JOSE, Calif.—In its Q4, 2022 earnings report, Roku reported increased usage by consumers, adding nearly 10 million net new active accounts to end 2022 with about 70 million active accounts. 

Roku also reported that total global streaming hours on its platform grew by 14.3 billion hours or about 23% to 87.4 billion in 2022. In the U.S., where Roku is the most popular streaming platform, its free streaming service, The Roku Channel reached households with about 100 million people. 

Total net revenue grew 13% year over year (YoY) to $3.1 billion while platform revenue increased 20% YoY to $2.7 billion. 

Based on the results, the stock surged by about 10% in after hours trading to $70 a share at 4:23 ET.

Operating losses in an increasingly difficult ad market spiked however to $249.9 million, up from $147.0 million in Q3, 2022 and a positive operating income of $21.4 million in Q4 2021. 

“We plan to continue to improve our operating expense profile to better manage through the challenging macro environment, while building on our platform’s monetization and engagement tools and partnerships,” the company said in a letter to shareholders. “Through a combination of operating expense control and revenue growth, we are committed to a path that delivers positive adjusted EBITDA for full year 2024.” 

Overall the company had 4.6 million net adds in active accounts in Q4 2022 and 9.9 million for the full year. 

“The shift to TV streaming continues with cord cutting accelerating in the U.S. in 2022,” the letter to shareholders said. “Four of the five biggest U.S. pay TV operators reported 2022 subscriber losses that were 60% higher than 2021. In a recent survey, Cord Cutter News found that more than 70% of U.S. cord-cutters use a Roku device and stated, `Roku is the clear leader in the world of cord cutting and is almost twice as popular as its next competitor.’”

The company also reported gains in the usage of its operating system for smart TVs. “In Q4, Roku TV gained share, and we extended our leadership in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico,” the letter said. “According to NPD, the Roku operating system (OS) was the No. 1 selling smart TV OS in the U.S., and our 38% share of units sold in Q4 was more than the next two largest TV operating systems combined. The Roku OS was also the No. 1 selling smart TV OS in Canada and No. 1 in Mexico, where we grew to 30% of units sold.”

To build on that, Roku recently announced it would be building its own TVs (opens in new tab), which will launch in the sprint of 2023. 

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.