The Roku streaming platform had 51.2 million active accounts at the end of 2020, up by 14 million in a year. It delivered 58.7 billion streaming hours in 2020, an increase of 55% on the previous year. Roku has acquired the programming from the failed Quibi platform to add to its own channel.
“I’m excited that more than 50 million households now turn to Roku for their TV viewing,” said Roku chief executive Anthony Wood. “The world is moving to streaming and we look forward to continuing to help viewers, advertisers, content publishers, and TV manufacturers succeed in the Streaming Decade.”
Roku OS was the leading smart television operating system sold in the United States and Canada in 2020, according to the NPD Weekly Retail Tracking Service. Roku television models are available from more than 15 brands.
Roku has added a reference design for a wireless soundbar that can connect with any Roku television, following the launch of its own branded product. The first licensed device will be launched by TCL.
The company has also acquired the programming from the failed Quibi platform. Roku acquired the exclusive global distribution rights to more than 75 shows created for the service and will make them available for free on an advertising supported basis on The Roku Channel for all its users. They will be exclusive to Roku for two-years, after which Roku will retain the right to show the programming until 2027.
In the fourth quarter of 2020 The Roku Channel reached households in the United States with an estimated 61.8 million.
“The most creative and imaginative minds in Hollywood created groundbreaking content for Quibi that exceeded our expectations,” said Quibi founder Jeffrey Katzenberg. “We are thrilled that these stories, from the surreal to the sublime, have found a new home on The Roku Channel.”
The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but were reported to be “significantly” less than $100 million. One suspects that might be a vanity figure. Whatever the number, it was a lot less than the $1.75 billion raised for the short-lived Quibi service, which shut down in December 2020 after falling well short of its subscriber projections.