Roku Active Account Growth Slows in Q1, Posts 79% Boom in Revenue

Roku gained 2.4 million new active accounts, demonstrating that the pandemic-driven streaming momentum that buoyed its results in 2020 has slowed down. Meanwhile, the company easily topped analyst expectations in the first quarter of 2021.

The streaming platform reported revenue of $574.2 million, up 79% year over year, and a net loss of $.  With the pickup of new active accounts, Roku in Q1 2021 reached 53.6 million total, up 35% — slower than its growth last year.

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Wall Street analysts on average expected Roku to report Q1 revenue of $490.6 million and a loss of 13 cents per share.

Roku’s Q1 earnings report comes after a public escalation in its fight with Google. Roku pulled YouTube TV from its channel store on April 30, alleging that Google was making anticompetitive demands for Roku to continue distribution of the core YouTube app. Google denied it was seeking any preferential treatment and claimed it was Roku that tied discussions over YouTube TV distribution with the deal to carry YouTube. Roku’s stock price has dropped more than 20% in the wake of the YouTube TV removal.

Meanwhile, to boost the momentum of its ad-supported Roku Channel, the company has embarked on a strategy of acquiring and producing original content.

The company bought the now-defunct Quibi content library in January — encompassing more than 75 original shows — which it is rebranding as “Roku Originals” and release them on its free-to-watch AVOD service soon. Roku Originals also will be the brand name for future original programming on The Roku Channel. And last month, Roku acquired This Old House Ventures, producer of “This Old House” and “Ask This Old House” TV shows, in a deal that included a library of more than 1,500 episodes.

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