Roku To Produce Original Shows, Films

With aggressive advertising growth a core part of its strategy, Roku appears to be jumping feet first into the content business.

Having acquired exclusive rights to the content library of defunct streamer Quibi in last month for its ad-supported Roku Channel, Roku looks to be preparing to produce its own original shows and films.

The company last month began running an ad (above) on LinkedIn for “a lead production attorney for Roku's original episodic and feature length productions," reports Protocol.

The ad referred to “building an expanding slate of original content,” and described the job as including interaction with guilds and unions, working on "option purchase agreements, script acquisition agreements, life rights agreements, agreements to hire writers, actors, directors and individual producers, production services agreements, below-the-line agreements including for department heads, location agreements, clearances, prop rental agreements, likeness releases and credit memos.”

LinkedIn now shows the job having been filled.

Roku, which is set to report Q4 and full-year earnings on Thursday, declined to comment on the report.

In reporting Q3 earnings last November, Roku said its services business -- which comprises mainly ad revenue -- had generated more than $1 billion on a 12-month trailing basis by the end of September, Protocol notes.

While it did not specifically break out advertising revenue, Roku reported that 97% of TV advertisers that spent $1 million or more or more with the company in Q3 2019 continued to invest in Q3 2020.

First-time advertisers more than doubled, largely coming from marketers using Roku’s OneView ad platform, which allows advertisers to buy media against performance guarantees based on business outcomes such as website visits or mobile app downloads.

In total, Roku offers advertisers reach to 51.2 million active accounts, and 54% of its users are not pay-TV subscribers, according to the company’s site.

In Q2 2020, analyst projections put Roku’s ad revenue at $116 million, or 32% of the company’s total revenue of $356.1 million for the quarter.

MoffettNathanson Research projected Roku’s 2020 video advertising revenue at $566 million, rising to $902 million in 2021.

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