Amazon Fire TV is now in 40 million homes globally. On the day the news broke, Roku, a competitor to Fire TV, which has around 32 million homes, witnessed a sharp 4.3% rise in its stock price on Monday to close at $143.37. Does that make sense? Well, to some.
For 2019, Roku’s stock -- perhaps the best media performer of the year -- had a 340% rise in its stock price, even with the rising growth of Amazon Fire TV, a service backed by a powerful, high-profile ecommerce/media company.
Since its high in September 2019 of around $170, Roku’s stock has been up and down. Yet the company seems resilient. Also, Amazon Fire TV continues to grow, as do the rumblings from new competitors.
Last year -- around the same time as those declines -- Comcast announced a new streaming box for internet-only subscribers while Facebook started Portal TV, a potentially competitive set-top box device.
A test for those big media companies is to walk where Roku and Amazon Fire TV have traveled. Make that run -- especially in light of a collective 70 million homes that can be access by Roku and Amazon Fire TV.
One of the main reasons for potential growth is advertising. For Roku especially, this has been a main future driver of revenue growth as it lets more of its platform be incorporated into smart TVs software systems.
Projections from eMarketer say Roku will sharply climb to $433 million in ad revenues in 2019. For Amazon? We don’t know about Amazon Fire TV. But we can’t help but note that overall, the ecommerce/media platform’s ad revenue is expected to rise a mega 470% to $40 billion.
Major media companies with a future stake in how traditional, digital and other advertising will fare will stay to play.
One more thing: Barclays Capital has valued Walt Disney’s streaming business at a tidy $108 billion. Good news is good news for many.