It's Not All About Devices For Roku's CFO

May 16, 2018

By Britt Terrell

Roku, the leading provider of over-the-top hardware, has shifted its focus from selling TV boxes to providing access to streaming content through its platform on others' devices.

The company is happy to trade the margins it makes on selling OTT hardware for growing its users, said Steve Louden, Roku's chief financial officer.

"We focus on two things: driving active account growth ー that's the scale of the platform ー and then monetizing the platform," Louden said in an interview Wednesday with Cheddar. "Players are important to us, but they are just one of three ways we grow active accounts," he added.

Roku sells players to plug into TVs; it licenses its platform to TV manufacturers, and licenses its operating system to streaming and telecommunications companies like Sky in Britain and Telstra in Australia.

Hardware sales are becoming less important to the company's bottom line, Louden said, and focus has shifted to its platform business, which has more potential users. The company has 21 million active users, most of them in the U.S., and the company is looking to grow internationally. It's already in 23 countries.

"Roku historically has been primarily focused on being and maintaining our leadership position as the number one streaming platform in the U.S.," Louden said. "But increasingly we are looking to the international markets as well."

For the full interview, click here.