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Roku Is on the Path to Dominance

Written by Monica Savaglia
Posted January 8, 2019

As it finally gets into the thick of winter here in Baltimore, I’ll be spending more of my time indoors wrapped up in blankets and watching countless TV series on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. Let’s be real — I’ve been doing that since fall approached and the days of sun past 5:00 p.m. became a distant memory.

I think I can safely say I’m not the only one who loses motivation throughout the colder months of the year, when the idea of laying on the couch and watching an entire TV series seems more appealing than any other option.

TV streaming has morphed into such a huge part of our lives. It’s hard staying relevant with coworkers and friends when it comes to what new shows are currently streaming. Netflix is constantly releasing original series, movies, and documentaries.

This past Sunday, the 76th Golden Globes Awards aired. This annual award ceremony is a big deal for the film industry. At this year’s ceremony, Netflix received eight nominations for its TV series and five for its films. It won five Golden Globes for its original content.

Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) has made a huge investment in original content — $13 billion to be exact. The company is making investments in its own content to shift from being dependent on paying networks and studios for the rights to their content. If the company can grow a strong following with its own content, it will benefit in the long run.

Recently, the streaming platform debut a movie called Bird Box, which was a huge hit for Netflix. 45 million subscribers — almost a third of Netflix’s 137 million total user base — watched Bird Box. Everyone was talking about and sharing memes from the movie all over the internet and social media. Every time I opened up Facebook or Twitter, I saw a Bird Box meme.

The hype that came along with Bird Box and the recent wins from the Golden Globes has given Netflix’s stock a bump. On December 21, 2018, shares closed the day at $246.39, and on Monday, January 7th, shares opened up at $302.10 — a 22% increase in about two weeks.

This is just a glimmer of what’s happening in the streaming service industry.

Just When You Thought Video Streaming Couldn’t Get any Bigger

If you haven’t realized by now, this industry seems like it’s only getting bigger, especially as it becomes more normal to lie around and watch an entire show or movie instead of going out. Our society is finally relaxing, whether it is because we actually enjoy these shows or just want to stay up to date with popular culture. Either way, this is an industry you’ll want to keep your eye on.

According to Future Market Insights, by 2028, the subscription-based revenue model of video streaming is expected to hold 51.5% of the market share.

Streaming services have been so effortlessly integrated into our daily lives that it seems like a necessity to have a subscription to not one but multiple streaming services.

Streaming services like Netflix aren’t the only ones that’ll see a profit in the years to come. Companies like Roku, which provide the devices making it possible to stream these video services, will be a crucial part of this industry's growth.

Roku Is Turning into the Streaming Service of Choice

Roku, Inc. (NASDAQ: ROKU) has had a huge year. The company made its public debut not long ago on September 27, 2017. It set its initial public offering (IPO) price at $14 per share. Roku had a great start when it IPO’d, surging more than 50%.

The company has continued to rally in its first year of being public. It did have some slumps, but overall, it continued to rally on. Roku opened up the market on Monday, January 7th, trading at $36.83 — a 157% increase from its IPO price.

There’s something to be said about this company, especially as it continues to keep its composure in the markets. It’s becoming a well-known and desired streaming service, and not only that, but the company is expanding its business.

This past Wednesday, the company announced that it will give its users the ability to watch streaming “Roku Channel” content from its mobile app. Users will also be able to purchase subscriptions to Starz, Showtime, and 23 other premium content providers in the Roku Channel app on its television sets.

Roku is setting itself apart and becoming more than just a device manufacturer. Roku’s Roku Channel is a very important factor for the company’s revenue stream. The Roku Channel has already become the company's fastest-growing business segment, accounting for more than half of its total revenue.

Growing Users, Growing Revenue

Roku recently reported some preliminary fourth quarter data that indicated a double-digit year-over-year jump in its active accounts. Roku reported that there were 27 million active accounts in the fourth quarter. That’s a 40% increase from the same quarter in 2017.

That wasn’t the only thing that grew. The number of streaming hours viewers engaged in jumped 68% from the previous year. Roku reported 7.3 billion hours were streamed in the fourth quarter of 2018. In total for the year, 24 billion hours were streamed.

Roku’s CEO Anthony Wood had this to say about these results:

Strong active account growth and accelerating streaming hours points to consumers’ growing enthusiasm for streaming, making Roku America’s largest and fastest growing TV streaming distribution platform. In 2018, we maintained our leadership in streaming players, licensed smart TVs and TV streaming hours. Roku continues to bring viewers more choice, great value, a compelling user experience - and lots of TV fun.

Roku shares were up by 12% on Monday. The company continues to do a good job of expanding its platform and becoming a service that users enjoy and depend on.

As of this moment, it doesn’t seem like Roku is slowing down anytime soon. It’s been over a year since it made its market debut, and I believe it’s proved its worth to investors within that time period and hopefully will continue to impress in the future.

Until next time,

Monica Savaglia

Monica Savaglia

Monica Savaglia is Wealth Daily’s IPO specialist. With passion and knowledge, she wants to open up the world of IPOs and their long-term potential to everyday investors. She does this through her newsletter IPO Authority, a one-stop resource for everything IPO. She also contributes regularly to the Wealth Daily e-letter. To learn more about Monica, click here.

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