Roku’s Platform Revenue Exceeds Player Revenue in Q1

Roku’s business reached a milestone of sorts in Q1 as Platforms revenue exceeded Player-related revenue for the first time.

Q1 2018 revenue at Roku’s fast-growing Platforms division, which includes advertising, subscription revenue sharing and licensing fees from TV makers, jumped 106%, to $75.1 million, while Player-related revenue dipped 3%, to $61.5 million.

Total net revenue rose 36% to $136.6 million, with ARPU climbing 50%, to $15.07.

Active accounts were up 47%, to 20.8 million, while total streaming hours via Roku’s players and integrated Roku TVs reached 5.1 billion in Q1, up 56% versus the year-ago period.

Roku said roughly half of its base of active users have cut the cord or have never had a traditional pay TV subscription.

In its letter to investors, Roku stated a belief that “virtually every TV OEM will eventually need to license a TV OS, as consumers shift to smart TVs with 4K displays, and as OEMs focus on both cutting costs and boosting customer satisfaction.”

Two notable exceptions are Samsung (Tizen) and LG Electronics (webOS). Roku is continuing to focus on the smart TV market as it faces more competition in that area from Google’s Android TV and Amazon’s Fire TV platforms.

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Roku said it expected retail distribution of Roku TV models to grow in 2018, and also raised its full year 2018 outlook.

Its TV partners include Funai Electric (Sanyo, Magnavox and Philips), RCA, TCL, Element Electronics, Hitachi America, Sharp, and Hisense.

Shares in Roku closed at $36.08 each Wednesday, up 8.94% ($2.96). Shares were up 2.27% in after-hours trading Wednesday night.