Ahead of today’s Q4 2021 earning’s call, a report indicates that streaming giant Roku is exploring entering the world of television manufacturing. According to Business Insider, the company held a focus group last month that sought customer feedback on a variety of “models, feature sets and names, sizes, price points.”
Roku has been the largest Smart TV operating system in the United States for each of the last two years and also manufactures popular streaming devices like the Roku Streaming Stick 4K and Roku Streambar.
While the company would not comment on speculation, a source told Insider that the expansion into TV manufacturing has been a part of Roku’s plans for over a year. “The analysis has been done. They recognized that owning the last bit of branding made a lot of sense, particularly if you are going into content,” the source said.
The move into the hardware side of the business appears to be due – at least in part – to supply chain issues impacting external manufacturers, which has, in turn, slowed Roku’s subscriber growth. In Q3, active Roku accounts rose 23% to 56.4 million, but the rate of growth was dramatically slowed compared to Q2.
Since Roku’s current business model is increasingly reliant on consumers subscribing after purchasing a new TV or device, the fact that manufacturers are struggling to secure the components necessary to keep up with demand has impacted Roku’s ability to maintain the momentum that led to its success in recent years.
Complicating matters for Roku is the fact that a number of other Connected TV players are launching their own platforms similar to Roku. Both Vizio and Samsung have ventured into the space and Amazon began selling its own TVs last year as well.
Roku is scheduled to unveil its Q4 earnings today and will answer questions from analysts about the previous quarter and where the company plans to go in 2022.