Roku Media Chief Charlie Collier Outlines Priorities as Streaming Growth Continues

The company's AVOD service now reaches 100 million people

In a year of major growth, Roku is getting its priorities in order.

During an earnings call on Wednesday, the company highlighted several key achievements, including finishing the fourth quarter of 2022 with an increase of 14.3 billion streaming hours, bringing its total hours up to 87.4 billion for the year.

Additionally, Roku reiterated that it reached 70 million active accounts during the year, a number Adweek reported in January.

With those numbers in mind, new Roku Media president Charlie Collier made his first earnings call appearance, outlining three priorities heading into 2023.

“We’re focused on the immediate world where streaming-first media buying and planning is coming, and that’s coming faster than most realize, too,” Collier said.

Planning for that environment includes adding third-party DSP partners, and Collier said Roku is already more actively meeting marketers and partners where they transact programmatically.

Secondly, Roku is further emphasizing its shoppable experiences and brand sponsorships in the year ahead, including its ecommerce offering with Walmart.

And as a last priority, Collier noted the company was focused on adding a distinct entertainment overlay on top of the Roku platform.

“There’s an emerging appreciation that Roku is not just another player in the streaming wars, but that the streaming wars are actually being fought on the Roku platform,” Collier said.

Weirdly good results

Elsewhere in the call, Roku touted its AVOD service, The Roku Channel, which now reaches 100 million people in the U.S.

Among the highlights, its feature film Weird: The Al Yankovic Story drove the most reach of any on-demand program in the platform’s history. And on the unscripted side, The Great American Baking Show Celebrity Holiday had Roku Originals’ biggest premiere day for any unscripted original.

“The success of our programming, both scripted and unscripted, is attracting marquee brands, such as T-Mobile’s sponsorship of Weird. TurboTax sponsored Emeril Tailgates around the Big Game in Arizona on Feb. 12, providing a way for us to engage viewers and advertisers around this key cultural event,” the company said in a letter to shareholders.

Even as platform revenue grew 5% year-over-year to $731 million, Roku saw operating losses climb to nearly $250 million.

“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,” the letter said. “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.”