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Roku Added 1.2 Million Active Accounts in Q1 2022; Users Streamed 20.9 Billion Hours

Matt Tamanini

As part of its first-quarter 2022 earnings report, Roku revealed on Thursday that the company added 1.2 million active accounts during the first three months of the year, bringing its global total to 61.3 million. That marks a 14% account increase year-over-year above the 53.6 million that Roku boasted after Q1 2021. Roku says that total streaming hours on the platform increased by 1.4 billion in Q1 to reach 20.9 billion hours streaming.

At the end of 2021, Roku surpassed 60 million accounts, and last year, the company’s users consumed 73.2 billion hours of content through Roku’s services, making them the No. 1 TV streaming platform in North America. The Roku operating system powers more than one-third of all Smart TVs sold in the U.S.

However, earlier this year, the company announced that Roku-powered TV unit sales fell below pre-COVID 2019 levels in Q4 of last year, though standalone Roku devices sank just 4% year-over-year. Roku noted that supply chain issues led to slower smart TV adoption, hurting the company’s expansion both in terms of devices and overall users.

At least partially in response to these growth disruptions, Roku is reportedly exploring an expansion into TV manufacturing. In addition to being the leading tvOS domestically, the company also manufactures popular streaming devices like the Roku Streaming Stick 4K and Roku Streambar. But, not having to rely on external hardware manufacturers to get their operating system and Roku Channel streaming platform in front of users would be a positive for the company’s business.

While Roku is reportedly considering a move into TV manufacturing, Anthony Wood — the streamer’s founder and chief executive officer — has continued to focus on the company’s current business model of serving as an operating system for smart TVs built by outside manufacturers.

“The Roku operating system is poised to gain further market share as TVs shift away from costly proprietary operating systems,” he said. “We expect manufacturers who want a best-in-class operating system to choose the Roku OS, which is purpose-built for TV.”

One of the benefits that Roku provides consumers, according to Wood, is the Roku Channel. The CEO says that due to the rise in free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) the Roku Channel has moved into a top-five position on the platform amongst U.S. customers just four years after launch.

“The Roku Channel … reached households with 80 million people in the [fourth] quarter, and it’s just been a big driver of our ad business,” Wood said. “This success is a result of combining a robust content portfolio with our ability to send consumers to the Roku Channel with superior content marketing and advertising features.”

Earlier this week, Lionsgate and the Roku Channel announced a partnership in which the free, ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) platform will receive two separate windows in which they will be the home for Lionsgate films. After the movies’ theatrical windows end, they will first be available on Lionsgate’s cable network Starz, but will then come to the Roku Channel for an exclusive window, followed by a non-exclusive p.

Roku Channel

The Roku Channel is a free live TV streaming service that provides 270+ live linear streaming channels and more than 80,000 free movies and TV shows. The library contains entertainment from several different decades, including some major hits.

The service also made a splash by the acquisition of the Quibi library, now presented as Roku Originals. More original content is set to follow.

Users can add premium subscriptions to services like Showtime, STARZ, and AMC+ that can be accessed within the Roku Channel ecosystem.