Describing the global numbers as “preliminary estimated data,” the tech firm said it facilitated 17 billion streaming hours in the fourth quarter and 58.7 billion hours in 2020. Those levels represent a 55% year-over-year surge for both the quarter and the full year.
Last November, Roku reported having 46 million active accounts at the end of the third quarter. The company has risen to become, along with Amazon, the major gatekeeper of streaming in the U.S. Amazon said last month it had reached 50 million active users on its Fire TV streaming platform.
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The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated an already pronounced consumer shift toward streaming. Several major new services also hit the market in 2020, including HBO Max and Peacock, with Disney+ and Apple TV+ also expanding after launching late in 2019. In addition to its line of connected-device hardware, Roku has also integrated its interface into smart TVs, gaining a presence in more than one in three sets in the U.S.
“I’m excited that more than 50 million households now turn to Roku for their TV viewing,” CEO Anthony Wood said. “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.”
Roku also released some insights about how its platform was used in 2020. Adam Sandler was the most searched person of the year, with the holiday movie staple Elf the No. 1 search term for both November and December.
The Roku Channel, the company’s collection of free and subscription services, reached households with an estimated 61.8 million people, double the level of a year ago. In December, Ernest Saves Christmas was the most-viewed free title and The Spanish Princess came out on top among subscription titles.
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