×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Roku Says It Surpassed Samsung in U.S. Smart TV Sales, Shares Up on Better-Than-Expected Q1 Results

Roku executives told investors on Wednesday that the company was now leading the U.S. smart TV market.

“We have taken the lead from Samsung and are now the number one smart TV OS in the country,” Roku CEO Anthony Wood said during the company’s Q1 earnings call. TVs from TCL and other consumer electronics manufacturers that are powered by Roku’s operating system accounted for one in three smart TVs sold in the U.S. during the first quarter, the company estimated.

Roku announced this milestone as it released better-than-expected earnings results with a year-over-year revenue growth of 51%, which resulted in share prices shooting up more than 8% in after-hours trading.

Roku generated revenue of $206.7 million during the first three months of the year, compared to $136.6 million during the same quarter a year ago. The company’s net loss for the quarter was $10.7 million, compared to $6.9 million in Q1 of 2018. This translates to a net loss of $0.09 per share. Analysts had expected revenue of $189 million for the quarter, and a net loss of $0.24 per share.

“Roku had an outstanding first quarter,” the company said in its letter to shareholders. “The strength of our brand, the scale of our active account base, the advantages of our purpose-built streaming OS and the engagement of our users make Roku an increasingly important partner for content publishers, advertisers and TV manufacturers. The shift to streaming and away from linear TV and legacy distribution platforms has enormous momentum.”

The company’s hardware revenue grew from $61.5 million in Q1 of 2018 to $72.5 million. At the same time, advertising and services revenue increased from $75.1 million in Q1 of 2018 to $134 million this past quarter — a testament to the strength of Roku’s advertising business. Roku ended the quarter with 29.1 million active accounts, who collectively streamed 8.9 billion hours of audio and video.

Roku executives told investors during Wednesday’s call that they have seen some momentum for virtual pay TV operators, a notion that chief financial officer Steve Louden reiterated during an interview with Variety. “The virtual MVPD market has been doing well on the platform,” he said.

“Overall, the category is a great one for us,” Louden said. “It helps to hasten cord cutting.”

Virtual pay TV operators like DirecTV Now have been under pressure to raise prices in recent months, which has led to some customer defections. Louden acknowledged that the current skinny TV bundles may not necessarily represent the end stage of paid TV distribution online, which could include further unbundling. “We are big believers in the fragmentation of the traditional cable bundle,” he said.

As a response to its Q1 results, Roku raised its full-year 2019 guidance on  Wednesday. The company continues to expect that it will surpass $1 billion in revenue this year, and now forecasts 40% year-over-year growth, up from 36%.

More Digital

  • hdhomerun roku app

    HDHomerun App Brings Live TV to Roku Devices

    Roku users are getting another way to watch live television with the help of their favorite streaming devices: Silicondust, maker of the HDHomerun TV tuners, has released a beta version of its HDHomerun app for Roku TVs and streaming devices. “We need to start out by saying this is very much a beta product,” the [...]

  • Vox Media

    Vox Media Staff Ratifies First Union Contract, Negotiated by Writers Guild

    Staffers at Vox Media, which includes Curbed, Eater, Polygon, Recode, SB Nation, The Verge and Vox.com, have ratified their first collective bargaining agreement with more than 90% in support. The staffers are represented by the Writers Guild of America East. Vox Media’s 350-member unit began bargaining their first contract in April 2018. The campaign to [...]

  • Joslyn Davis, Lily-Marston - Shared Media

    Clevver’s Joslyn Davis, Lily Marston Launch Their Own YouTube Media Venture (EXCLUSIVE)

    Here’s the latest chapter in the saga of Clevver, the entertainment/lifestyle YouTube network marooned by the shuttering of former parent Defy Media and subsequently snapped up by Hearst Magazines. Two of the principal creatives behind Clevver — Joslyn Davis and Lily Marston — together with Clevver Media co-founder Jorge Maldonado have launched Shared Media, their [...]

  • Money-Diaries-Refinery29

    Refinery29 to Produce Interactive Series Funded by Eko (EXCLUSIVE)

    Refinery29 has been bitten by the “Bandersnatch” bug. The millennial-female-focused digital media and entertainment company inked a pact with Eko, an interactive-video platform developer whose backers include Walmart, to produce several “choose-your-own-adventure”-style series based on Refinery29 content properties. The companies have started development on their first project: an interactive scripted adaptation of Refinery29’s popular “Money [...]

  • Dan Howell

    YouTube Star Dan Howell Comes Out as Gay: 'It Gets So Much Better'

    It’s Pride Month, and popular YouTube vlogger Dan Howell had a message for fans that he’d been working on for a year: “Basically, I’m Gay,” he shared in a video Thursday. In the 45-minute video, Howell discussed coming to terms with his sexual orientation and his thoughts on labels that people use to define themselves [...]

  • Netflix Expands Korean Content Commitment

    Netflix Expands Korean Content Commitment as Industry Deepens

    Global streaming giant, Netflix is expanding its involvement in the Korean film and TV industries by greenlighting several new shows and renewing others. “When we started three years ago, we had a high degree of confidence that Korean drama would work well in Asia, but we had no internal metrics of our own,” Korean content [...]

  • Instagram Logo

    Instagram Outage: Facebook’s Photo Sharing Service Went Down For Multiple Hours

    Instagram faced another major outage Thursday afternoon, with users from around the world reporting that they weren’t able to access Facebook’s photo sharing service via its app and website. An Instagram spokesperson told Variety around 5pm PT that the issue had been resolved: “Earlier today, a technical issue caused some people to have trouble accessing [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content