The Roku platform continues to grow with the company now confirming 32.3 million active accounts. This represents an increase of 1.7 million compared to three months before.
Adding to the growth in users, the company also saw an uptick in the number of hours streamed during the last quarter. In total, 10.3 billion hours were streamed via Roku devices, in the past three months alone.
When taken together, Roku is continuing to expand its footprint within the streaming market.
What is Roku?
Roku is both a hardware and a service provider. For example, you can buy Roku streaming players, and some from as low as $29.
This low-cost and ease-of-use approach has allowed Roku to become a dominant streaming player seller.
On the software front, all of these devices come loaded with Roku OS. This is a platform similar to Android TV and Fire TV and provides direct access to apps and premium services.
Roku OS is also available on third-party devices as well. Again, similar to Android TV and Fire TV, you can buy TVs that come loaded with Roku OS. This is another way in which the company has managed to expand its user base.
Similar to how Roku has expanded its software beyond its hardware, the company has also now started expanded its services beyond hardware running on Roku OS. For example, you can now access the company’s “The Roku Channel” on multiple platforms by downloading the Roku app.
No Roku OS or Roku player required.
What is The Roku Channel?
Arguably, one of the biggest improvements Roku made to its ecosystem was the introduction of The Roku Channel. This is a service that allows users to stream select TV shows and movies for free.
Previously, The Roku Channel was only available through Roku OS, although it has now reached a number of the company’s apps on third-party platforms, such as Android and iOS.
Roku is able to offer free streaming by employing an AVOD approach. In other words, The Roku Channel displays ads.
The use of ads is the primary way in which AVOD differs from SVOD. For example, services like Netflix are SVOD services as they rely on the use of subscriptions instead of ads.
There are some services, however, that adopt a mixed approach by combining the SVOD and AVOD philosophies together. A prime example would be Hulu.
While Hulu charges $12.99 per month for its on-demand ad-free subscription service, it also offers a reduction in price by showing ads. The cheaper version of Hulu costs $5.99 per month and perfectly highlights how the AVOD and SVOD strategies can be blended to benefit both consumers and providers alike.
Roku made it clear in today’s announcement that it will continue to focus in on the ad-only route. A route that’s so far proving highly successful for the company, considering it now has more than 32 million active accounts.