Amazon Fire TV Spends Big In National TV, Roku Less So

Although Roku and Amazon Fire TV are the two biggest streaming app/CTV platforms, each with over 50 million monthly active users, the two services are quite different when it comes to their respective national TV advertising messaging.

Over the past year, May 2020 to May 2021, Amazon Fire TV has spent $57 million in national TV advertising from among 6,711 airings, according to By comparison, Roku spent a tiny fraction of that amount -- $54,453 over the period from 574 airings.

Earlier this month, Roku said it had 53.6 million MAUs.

The latest estimates of Amazon Fire TV show the service has over 50 million MAUs.

Some of this might be explained by Roku's recent growth from licensing deals made with TV set manufacturers that placed the Roku technology inside smart TV makers platforms.

The Roku platform can be found on low-cost U.S. TV set makers, such as Haier, Hisense, Insignia, Sharp and TCL. In addition, Roku is also more focused around advertising revenues.



In the fourth quarter of 2020, advertising revenue on Roku’s platform was estimated to be $265 million, according to MoffettNathanson Research -- or about 56% of total platform revenue, which Roku says was $471.2 million. First quarter set-top-box revenue from the sale of players hit $107.7 million.

And while Amazon Fire TV’s platform is on some manufacturers -- Toshiba, Insignia, and JVC TV sets -- much of its business is directed at selling an array of set-top box devices/TV sticks.

Many virtual pay TV providers also have similar deals with TV set providers. For example, Sling TV has agreements with Samsung and LG for example, as well as TV set top players, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast.

Last year, Sling TV spent $20.9 million in national TV advertising coming from 16,211 airings.

Looking at other video streaming/virtual pay TV providers with a device component: Samsung TV Plus, spent $56,425 in national TV advertising; the short-lived T-Mobile TVision virtual pay TV service, which came with an accompanied set-top device, had 39 TV commercial airings totalling $3.3 milloin in estimated national TV spend.

Google TV -- which uses the Google Chromecast device to access entertainment apps -- spend $7.7 million from 32 airings.

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