Roku, Walmart Agree To Audio Product Deal
It looks like anyone interested in picking up a pair of smart speakers optimized for Roku smart TVs, soon will be able to find them at Walmart under the discount store chain’s “onn” private label brand.
The announcement was made somewhat cryptically as part of Roku’s letter to investors following the release of the smart TV company’s second quarter financial report last week. Roku CEO Anthony Wood and CFO Steve Louden said through a joint statement that Roku recently made an agreement with Walmart to produce products under Walmart’s “onn” house brand. That deal included “audio” products.
Roku started making and selling wireless speakers (audio products) under its own brand to work specifically with Roku TVs last year. The speakers enable wide placement to the left and right of a TV screen to present a very wide sound stage in comparison to many soundbars. The reported agreement with Walmart will apparently expand that making Roku an OEM to a new major retail brand.
“We recently agreed with Walmart to offer several new Roku devices including audio products to their customers under their onn brand. This is in addition to Roku TVs and Roku players already sold through Walmart,” the letter to investors said.
Walmart sells Roku TVs under various Roku TV brand partners including TCL, which reached the No. 1 market share position in the U.S. for a brief time in Q1-2019, according to IHS data.
Wood said that during the second quarter “player unit sales increased 36%, the highest growth in the last nine quarters. Our purpose-built OS allows us to offer superior streaming experiences to consumers at attractive price points.”
Meanwhile, Roku reported that it continues to register growth behind its Roku TVs and Roku streaming devices as it strengthens its position in smart TV OS licensing. For the quarter, the company reported 30.5 million active Roku accounts, outpacing both Amazon’s FireTV and Apple TV (tvOS).
“Roku TV represented more than one in three smart TVs sold in the U.S. during the first half of the year. We work closely with our TV partners to deliver a wide variety of Roku TV models to customers at a range of picture resolutions, screen sizes and price points. Not only do consumers want smart TVs, but they expect more from TVs in terms of capabilities and affordability,” Wood’s letter stated.
Meanwhile, Roku indicated that advertising revenue generated from its platform continues to be the growth driver for the company, ahead of hardware sales. The company said ad-supported revenue in the second quarter rose a whopping 89% to $167.7 million, as streaming device revenue increased 24% to $82.4 million from $66.5 million last year.
By Greg Tarr
Have a question for the HD Guru? HD GURU|Email
Copyright ©2019 HD Guru Inc. All rights reserved. HD GURU is a registered trademark.