Despite a difficult macro economic environment, causing a virtually flat gross profit performance for the year, streaming TV resource Roku managed to significantly increase its active accounts and total revenue during 2022, the company reported this week.

In its Q4-2022 financial statements, Roku emphasized that its active global accounts reached 70 million in 2022, reflecting a net increase of 9.9 million YoY.

For the full year, Roku’s net revenue grew 13% from 2021 to $3.1 billion and Roku OS platform revenue grew to $2.7 billion, up 20%. This contributed to a 2% rise in gross profit to $1.4 billion from a year ago.

Among its active accounts, Roku said streaming hours increased by 14.3 billion hours YoY to 87.4 billion, and the company’s average revenue per user (ARPU) reached $41.68, up 2% YoY.

In the fourth quarter of 2022, the company’s The Roku Channel aggregated ad-supported content offering was available to more than 100 million U.S. residents.

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Anthony Wood, Roku Founder and CEO and Steve Louden, Roku CFO said in a letter to investors that, “Despite a difficult macro environment in 2022, we made excellent progress building on our platform, brand, and industry leadership with the addition of nearly 10 million net new active accounts – ending the year with 70 million active accounts globally. We also drove strong Streaming Hour growth and delivered 20% YoY Platform revenue growth for the full year. Importantly, we plan to continue to improve our operating expense profile to better manage through the challenging macro environment, while building on our platform’s monetization and engagement tools and partnerships. Through a combination of operating expense control and revenue growth, we are committed to a path that delivers positive adjusted EBITDA for full year 2024. Our platform and industry leadership positions us well for re-accelerated revenue growth as the ad market recovers and the shift to TV streaming continues.”

Looking ahead to Q1-2023 the company said it expects to see results that reflect normal seasonality garnering total net revenue of approximately $700 million, total gross profit of approximately $310 million, and adjusted EBITDA of negative $110 million.

The company said it maintains its plan to deliver positive adjusted EBITDA in full year 2024.

At CES 2023 last month, the company announced the launch of its first own-branded Roku TVs, joining those that have been available under third-party TV brands, primarily in the United States, but more recently in international markets outside of North America as well.

Roku has seen aggressive challenges for TV OS market share from global competitors including Google (Android TV/Google TV), Amazon (FireTV), Samsung (Tizen) and LG (webOS) in recent months that has led some manufacturer partners to diversify their mix of smart TV OS platform offerings.

In a recent year-end advisory statement earlier this month, Roku said global streaming hours were 23.9 billion in Q4 contributing to the 87.4 billion total for full year 2022, a 19% increase YoY. The company cited NPD data show the Roku operating system (OS) was the No. 1 selling smart TV OS in the U.S., with 38% share of units sold in Q4 (more than the next two largest TV operating systems combined).

The company said its Roku OS was also the No. 1 selling smart TV OS in Canada and No. 1 in Mexico, where it accounted for 30% of units sold.

“We have built our business on the fundamental belief that all TV will be streamed, and all audiences, content, and advertising spend will follow. The investments we have made in people, technology, and products and services are furthering our competitive advantages. While cyclical economic pressures are affecting our business, two things remain true: the secular trend supporting our business remains intact, and the combination of our scale, engagement, and innovation position Roku exceptionally well to benefit when the market rebounds,” the company executives stated.

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By Greg Tarr

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