Roku Active Account Growth Slows, Streaming Hours Rise

Streaming and set-top-box distribution service Roku witnessed a slowing in the growth of "active accounts" -- up 2% (1.1 million) -- to now total 61.3 million.

This is partly due to the changing economy, according to the company’s shareholder letter -- stemming from the high activity for streaming use in the first quarter of 2021.

Roku says net additions softened as a result of the ending of government-ending stimulus payments, which drove up consumer spending in the first quarter of 2021.

This led to a decline in Roku's "player revenue" -- which includes set-top-box devices and Roku-branded TV sets -- in the current quarter, sinking 19% to $86.8 million versus the same period a year ago.

The company points to ongoing supply-chain disruptions, which increased U.S. TV prices in the quarter and pushed down TV sales below 2019 pre-pandemic levels.

Streaming player set-top-box business was also down -- 12% -- although still higher than 2019 levels.

On the positive side, Roku posted strong platform business -- which includes content distribution and advertising revenue -- growing 39% to $646.9 million.

While the company does not disclose specific financial results for advertising revenue, it said rising streaming hours have increased "advertising opportunities."
Those hours grew 1.4 billion over the fourth quarter to 20.9 billion and 14% year-over-year. Active account use per day is now at 3.8 hours.

Roku also said in the quarter it retained 96% of advertisers spending $1 million or more (calculated year-over-year), with average spend among returning advertisers growing more than 50% year-over-year.

Average revenue per user (ARPU) grew 34% year-over-year to $42.91. A year ago, Roku's "active accounts" were at 53.6 million.

In touting the overall strength of the streaming market, Roku -- referencing Nielsen -- said TV streaming devices surpassed legacy pay TV devices (set-top-box and DVR) in weekly U.S. reach in the U.S.

In March, streaming devices among adult 18-49 viewers had a 65% reach versus a 63% reach for the viewing of traditional pay TV in March.

Company-wide revenue grew 28% overall to $733.7 million with adjusted cash flow -- earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization -- dropping 54% to $57.6 million.

Roku estimates that its second-quarter revenue will grow 25% to $805 million, and that it expects total revenue growth to be 35% year-over-year.

Investors may disagree with that positive outlook. At the close, Roku's stock price on Thursday was up 8% to $91.63.

But after-market trading -- when Roku’s earnings were released -- pushed its stock price down 9%

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