Roku says it had a booming fourth quarter: The streaming platform company announced that it ended 2020 with an estimated 51.2 million active accounts — up 39% for the year, a gain of about 14.3 million accounts.
According to Roku’s preliminary estimated data, its users watched a cumulative 17 billion streaming hours in Q4 of 2020 for a total of 58.7 billion hours in 2020, a year-over-year increase of 55% for both the quarter and the full year. Roku expects to report Q4 2020 financial results sometime in February.
The 51.2 million accounts at year-end represent a pickup of about 5.2 million from Q3, marking Roku’s biggest quarterly user growth to date. Q4 is seasonally the company’s largest quarter for revenue and user additions.
In addition to holiday sales of new Roku players and TVs, the company undoubtedly got a lift in user activity after reaching a deal with WarnerMedia to distribute HBO Max starting Dec. 17. The resolution of the months-long standoff between the two sides came just ahead of the streaming service’s premiere of “Wonder Woman 1984.” Roku’s addition of NBCUniversal’s Peacock in late September also likely spurred Q4 usage, along with continued growth of Disney Plus and mainstays like Netflix and Hulu.
Meanwhile, Amazon — the other powerhouse in the over-the-top devices market — recently said the Fire TV streaming device had more than 50 million monthly active users in 2020.
“I’m excited that more than 50 million households now turn to Roku for their TV viewing,” Roku chief Anthony Wood said in a statement. “The world is moving to streaming and we look forward to continuing to help viewers, advertisers, content publishers and TV manufacturers succeed in the Streaming Decade.”
The company estimated that 61.8 million U.S. viewers had access to the free, ad-supported Roku Channel in the fourth quarter of 2020, roughly doubling year over year. Roku is reportedly close to a clinching a deal to acquire the streaming rights to Quibi’s original shows — a bucket of premium content that would potentially add further fuel to the Roku Channel’s growth engine.
Roku also revealed the most-searched-for entertainment titles of 2020 by month on its platform. Overall, perennial holiday fave “Elf” starring Will Ferrell was the No. 1 title search last year on Roku, while Adam Sandler was the most-searched person in 2020. Notably, Paramount Network’s hit drama series “Yellowstone,” which is also available on Peacock Premium, held the top spot from June-September:
- January: “Joker”
- February: “Frozen II”
- March: “Contagion”
- April: “Trolls World Tour”
- May: “Scoob!”
- June: “Yellowstone”
- July: “Yellowstone”
- August: “Yellowstone”
- September: “Yellowstone”
- October: “Hocus Pocus”
- November: “Elf”
- December: “Elf”