Roku claims 38% of all smart TVs sold in the U.S. in 2020

The Roku Channel, the company’s ad-supported streaming and subscription service hub, saw fourth-quarter usage grow nearly twice as fast as Roku’s overall platform. (Roku)

Roku is coming off another impressive year of platform growth and said that in 2020, 38% of all smart TVs sold in the U.S. were Roku TV models.

The smart TV business helped in part to continue Roku’s user base and engagement growth. The company said it added 14.3 million incremental active accounts in 2020 and ended the year with 51.2 million, in line with preliminary figures released last month.

Roku said overall streaming time increased by 20.9 billion hours year over year to a record 58.7 billion in 2020. Along with the increased engagement, the company said its average revenue per user climbed $5.62 to $28.76 on a trailing 12-month basis.

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Roku’s total net revenue for 2020 grew 58% year over year to approximately $1.78 billion. Platform revenue, which accounted for 73% of Roku’s total revenue in the fourth quarter, rose 71% to $1.27 billion in 2020.

Though the company’s total gross margin declined slightly, an 89% increase in gross profit led to $65.2 million in operations income for the fourth quarter. Looking ahead to the first quarter, Roku expects to swing back to an operational loss between $23 million and $16 million.

Roku said its advertising business saw monetized video advertising impressions more than double year over year in the fourth quarter, “as advertisers increasingly followed users from traditional pay TV to streaming. 2020 also saw prominent content publishers reorient toward TV streaming, further expanding the content selection for our users.”

The Roku Channel, the company’s ad-supported streaming and subscription service hub, saw fourth-quarter usage grow nearly twice as fast as Roku’s overall platform, according a letter to shareholders. The company said the Roku Channel now reaches U.S. households with an estimated 63 million people, up more than 100% year over year.

Roku is reportedly pursuing an original content strategy. The company didn’t mention that in its shareholder letter but it did say that Quibi’s content library, which it acquired last year, will be rolling out to the Roku Channel later in 2021.