Roku has 80 million active accounts

Roku reports that it has 80 million active accounts on its online video platform, up by 10 million in 2023, and delivered 106 billion hours of video on its platform over the year. It averaged over 4 hours a day per active account in the last quarter of 2023. In the United States, the active account base is now larger than the subscribers of the six largest pay-television providers combined.

The average revenue per user was about $10 a month, which is considerably lower than traditional television providers, but then again so are its costs.

Roku Active Accounts 2023 Q4. Source: informitv, company reports

Roku received total net revenue of $3.48 billion in 2023, with a total gross profit of $1.52 billion, but an operational loss of $0.79 billion and a net loss of $0.7 billion.

However, Roku started generating free cash flow in 2023 and plans to break even in the first quarter of 2024, delivering positive earnings before interest and other deductions for the full year.

Roku generates platform revenue primarily through the sale of advertising, sponsorships, and distribution, including subscription and transactional revenue, the sale of Premium Subscriptions, and the sale of branded app buttons on remote controls.

“As the leading TV streaming platform, Roku aims to make television better for everyone,” said Anthony Wood, the founder and chief executive of Roku. “In a world where one day all TV will be streamed, we’re immensely proud to be the programmer of the home screen for more than 80 million active accounts around the globe, connecting people directly to what they love to watch.”

Roku launched its own line of televisions in 2023 and expanded the Roku TV licensing program to include more than 30 partners, furthering the reach of the Roku Operating System. In the United Kingdom, Roku TV models are now available with JVC, Sharp, and Poloroid branded products.

The Roku operating system was the number one television operating system by sales in the United States for the fifth year in a row.

In January 2024, one year after the launch of Roku-branded televisions, the company announced the launch of the Roku Pro series of 4K products, with 55”, 65” and 75” screens.

The company says that it continues to put the needs and experience of the consumer at the centre of its offerings, since the launch of its first streaming player in 2008.

Virgin Media O2 plans fibre NetCo

Virgin Media O2, together with its shareholders Liberty Global and Telefónica, is planning to create a separate fixed network company and offer a wholesale alternative to BT Openreach. It says it will provide a platform for potential consolidation of other alternative network providers and establish the biggest dedicated fixed network challenger in the United Kingdom.

The new NetCo will include the cable and fibre network assets of Virgin Media 02, covering 16.2 million premises across the United Kingdom, all to be upgraded to full fibre in the coming years.

The new entity will connect the current Virgin Media 02 customer base through a wholesale agreement.

The company says the structure will play a role in potential altnet consolidation and provide wholesale opportunities as an alternative to BT Openreach.

The initiative will not include the mobile assets of Virgin Media 02. The nexfibre joint venture between Liberty Global, Telefónica and Infravia, will continue to operate separately, focusing on fibre network expansion into new areas.

Between them, Virgin Media 02 and nexfibre now have a full fibre footprint of over 4 million premises, but they expect that to reach up to 23 million homes once the planned fibre build is completed.

Lutz Schüler, the chief executive of Virgin Media O2, said: “This is a logical evolution of our fibre strategy that creates a clear, focused and scaled network entity within the Virgin Media O2 family which underpins our shift to a fully fibre network and reinforces our position as the leading challenger to Openreach in the market.”

VirginMedia 02 no longer reports television or video subscriber numbers in its quarterly or full-year results. It had 5.83 million fixed-line customer relationships at the end of 2023, compared to 5.80 million at the end of the previous year. Of these, 5.7 million customers took were paying for internet access, which is clearly now the main interest for the company.

The chief executive wrote: “We ended the year with stable revenues in line with our revised guidance at Q3, and achieved the low end of our mid-single-digit Transaction Adjusted EBITDA growth guidance through accelerated synergy execution which offset the impacts of consumer spend optimisation.”

Shareholder Liberty Global made almost no mention of television or video in its annual results statement. However, it did announce its plan to spin off 100% of Sunrise. That follows the integration of Sunrise and UPC in Switzerland from 2020. Sunrise will be separately listed on the Swiss stock exchange.

Liberty Global will retain its consolidated interests in Telenet, Virgin Media Ireland, and its joint venture stakes in Virgin Media 02 and VodafoneZiggo.

Super Bowl scores largest audience on record

Super Bowl LVIII had an estimated average audience of 123.7 million people, with 120.3 million watching on CBS alone, making it the largest television audience on record in the United States for a single network. The numbers were up 7.4% on the previous year and up 21.9% on the year before that.

The football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs, which ended 25-22 after additional time, drew a combined average household rating of 43.5, and combined household share of 83. The figures are based on the average audience over the duration of the programme, from 6.40pm to 10.45pm Eastern Time.

The broadcast averaged 120.3 million viewers on CBS, with an additional 2.3 million viewers watched the Spanish-language broadcast on Univision, and a further 1.2 million on Nickelodeon and Nick-at-Nite.

Audience estimates include viewing on digital television recorders, online viewing, Paramount+, and the digital properties of CBS Sports, Univision and the NFL, including NFL+, and out-of-home viewing.

Some of the increase may be down to counting out-of-home viewer in all states. Nielsen began including out-of-home viewers in some markets from 2020.

A record 202.4 million watched at least six minutes of the game across all networks. That was up 10% on the 183.6 million the previous year.

It was the second consecutive year that the Super Bowl had an average audience of more than 100 million, after four of the five previous games fell short of that figure.

The Apollo 11 moon landing in Juluy 1969 is estimated to have been watched by 125-150 million viewers across the three networks available at the time: ABC, CBS and NBC. The feature-length finale of the drama M*A*S*H in February 1983 had an audience of just under 106 million viewers, also on CBS, with a total audience of 121.6 million. The top 10 most-viewed programmes in the United States have otherwise all been coverage of the Super Bowl on various networks.