LAS VEGAS - Streaming video platform Roku ( ROKU ) this year is focused on gaining smart TV market share, growing its base of users and continuing the strong momentum it had in 2017.
[ibd-display-video id=3073030 width=50 float=left autostart=true] "We are the leading streaming operating system for TV today and want to remain in that position as all TV shifts to streaming," Roku Chief Executive Anthony Wood told Investor's Business Daily Tuesday at the CES consumer electronics trade show.
Roku ended 2017 with 19 million active users, up from 16.7 million at the end of the third quarter, Wood said. Wall Street is counting on Roku to monetize those active accounts.
"When you have scale there are ways to make money," Wood said. The company's revenue per user has been increasing, thanks in large part to Roku's advertising business.
Some 45% of viewing on Roku is on ad-supported channels.
Roku gains active users by selling streaming players that connect to televisions and by licensing its smart TV operating system to TV makers like TCL and to pay-TV operators.
In addition to monetizing users with advertising, Roku gets revenue from selling video service subscriptions and transactional video on demand.
Wood sees a big opportunity in premium video on demand, which the large movie studios are pursuing. The studios want to let consumers watch at home movies that are still in theaters, but charge a larger fee than current pay per view. Some executives have suggested a rental fee of $30.
But the major theater chains have been pushing back on the idea and threatening not to show films that will be available for premium video on demand.