Roku Subscribers Steal the Show: 15 Stats You Should Know

Updated · Mar 06, 2023

When we think of streaming, we usually visualize the software side of it—our favorite app or platform, its UI, and its (hopefully) rich content library—and forget that the hardware is of critical importance, too.

Over 232 million people in the US stream video, using a wide variety of devices to cover their entertainment needs. Some do it on their laptops or phones, sure, but many prefer the large screen of a television set. And many of them rely on Roku.

Today, we’ll look at the ever-increasing number of Roku subscribers—and shows—and discuss what the buzz is all about.

Essential Roku Statistics (Editor’s Choice)

  • Roku is the sixth company its founder, Anthony Wood, launched.
  • Roku made $491 million from advertising in 2020.
  • Young Americans take up to 9.4 minutes to choose what to watch.
  • Roku subscribers streamed 73.2 billion hours of content in 2021.
  • Almost a quarter of users watch the Roku Channel daily.
  • Roku has approximately 61.3 million active users in the US as of 2022.
  • About 80 million people live in the same house as a Roku subscriber.
  • The average user spends 215 minutes a day streaming on Roku.
  • Roku earnt its first three Emmy nominations in 2022.

Curious Roku Information to Get Started

From the company name’s etymology to its recent success in filmmaking, this is where you’ll find the most curious facts about Roku.

Let’s get started.

1. Roku means six in Japanese.

(Source: Alta)

Anthony Wood founded Roku in 2002. Today, he is a billionaire who has appeared on the Forbes 400 list. He owes his wealth precisely to Roku. But it wasn’t his first venture.

Before creating the company, he’d founded five other businesses—none of which were overly successful. In 2002, the then-36-year-old Mr. Wood came up with Roku. He named it so because it was his sixth attempt at entrepreneurship.

We can’t say whether it was this obscure etymology that brought Mr. Wood good luck, but one thing’s clear—twenty years later, he’s the CEO of a multibillion-dollar company.

2. Roku has an $11.99 billion market cap.

(Source: Companies Market Cap)

A slightly upsetting piece of information about Roku has to do with its market capitalization. In mid 2021, Roku had reached $60.8 billion. Since then, it’s dropped to around $12 billion.

That said, it’s not the only company to experience a wild ride on the market rollercoaster. Many businesses that thrived during the pandemic saw their market valuation crumble, including titans such as Netflix, which went from $305.77 billion in late 2021 to $84 billion in mid 2022.

3. Roku intends to release over 25 original shows next year.

(Source: Bloomberg)

According to the latest information, Roku’s TV ventures are about to get serious.

Throughout 2023, the platform plans to release over 25 original shows featuring several well-known personalities (like Emeril Lagasse). These will include reality shows, scripted series, and films.

Roku is also set to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars licensing old shows to boost its catalog.

Fun fact: Every time you watch a second of 4K video, you use 2MB of data. Imagine how much data people use every day, considering that more than 80% of internet traffic is really people streaming movies, watching YouTube videos, or lounging on TikTok.

4. Roku earned its first three Emmy nominations in July 2022.

(Source: Deadline)

There are over 60 million active Roku accounts, which means that the streaming platform needs to offer an excellent service to keep all its users satisfied and sufficiently entertained.

Recently, it’s been doing that through original content—and its efforts are finally starting to pay off. In July 2022, Roku earnt its first three Emmy nominations.

Two are for Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas (Outstanding Choreography and Outstanding Television Movie); the third one Roku owes to Immoral Compass, which received a nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series.

5. Young Americans take up to 9.4 minutes choosing what to watch.

(Source: Deadline)

The latest Roku statistics reveal that the streaming platform now offers over 100,000 pieces of entertainment available on-demand. Simply put, that’s such an enormous amount of content, a lifetime will be very much insufficient to watch it all—even if no new shows were ever released from this point onwards.

Unfortunately, browsing an endless catalog takes time, too—young Americans, in particular, are so picky that they can take nearly 10 minutes to choose what to watch in the first place.

Finding the right show quickly is a skill that appears to improve with age, though, since 50-year-olds take only about five minutes.

Fun fact: If we take out the time the average person spends working, sleeping, eating, and cleaning, that leaves you just 17.5 years of free time in all your life.

Roku Sales in 2022

Like most businesses engaged in home entertainment, Roku saw incredible gains during the pandemic. Its revenue skyrocketed, and so did most of the numbers in its annual (and quarterly) investor reports.

We at Web Tribunal perused those at length, and we’ll share the main takeaways with you.

6. More than 25% of smart TVs sold in the US run Roku.

(Source: Alta)

Many televisions nowadays are “smart”—that is, they have the ability to stream directly, without relying on any other devices. They do that through hardware and software already present in the TV itself.

Roku statistics suggest that in one out of four cases, the platform (or operating system) such TVs use is precisely Roku. Moreover, Roku sells standalone streaming players that can be connected to any television set for as low as $29. This makes it a market leader and situates it well in front of Google Chromecast and Apple TV.

Fun fact: Cable or satellite TV costs the average US household $109 per month.

7. Roku made $491.7 million in 2020 from advertisements.

(Source: Statista)

With the number of Roku devices sold reaching millions every quarter, the business is downright thriving.

In 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic began, Roku reached new heights. Having made $388 million in sales of streaming players in 2019, the company saw a 32% increase in revenue, reaching $511 million in 2020.

In a year filled with hardships for many, the streaming giant achieved a net revenue of $1.7 billion, a 58% increase compared to 2019.

8. Roku generated $2.76 billion in 2021.

(Source: Roku)

Roku’s revenue experienced a massive 55% growth year-on-year, reaching $2.76 billion in 2021. Moreover, the company reported $1.4 billion in gross profits, which represents a 74% increase compared to 2020. 

Things looked bright in regards to income, too—although Roku saw losses of -$17.5 million in 2020, it had a net income of +$242.3 million in 2021.

9. Roku made $41.03 per user in 2021.

(Source: Roku)

Over 60 million people use Roku monthly—and every single one of them contributes to the company’s profits. On average, Roku reported an ARPU (average revenue per user) of $41.03 in 2021.

It may not sound like much, but this figure used to be lower. For instance, in 2017, each streamer earnt Roku $13.78; as recently as 2020, the company only made $28.76 per customer.

One way of improving ARPU is refining advertising algorithms to target the right audience—something that Roku does well and is learning to do even better yet. For instance, Roku shows battery adverts to users whose remotes are, you guessed it, at low battery.

(Yes, Roku has info on you—including your remote’s battery level.)

Note: It’s not okay for companies to gather your data without your consent. That said, it’s very easy to get your consent. Those annoying banners that have you click on “accept all cookies” before letting you navigate? That’s companies trying to follow the laws.

If you run your own site—it doesn’t matter if it’s a blog or an ecommerce shop—be sure to cover your bases. There are services that help you comply with data privacy laws easily and at a low cost.

10. OTT video’s penetration rate in the US is 85.6%.

(Source: Statista)

OTT means over-the-top and it refers to video transmitted over the internet—be it on smart television sets, gaming consoles, and streaming players like Roku.

While Roku’s levels of penetration in the streaming market are remarkable, there’s still plenty of room for improvement. As many as 85.6% of US citizens watch OTT content, but quite fewer than that use Roku—it has a 51% CTV market share, compared to Fire TV’s 45% and Apple TV’s 13.1%.

Fun fact: The penetration rate of OTT video in the UK is 91.2%, substantially higher than in the US. Americans do, however, beat the British in TV viewership—they watch a whole hour of regular TV more than Britons (270 vs 212 minutes daily).

How Many Subscribers Does Roku Have?

Roku is the leading media streaming platform in the US and, as such, boasts a substantial number of users. Here, we’ll analyze people’s watching habits, paying particular attention to how many people rely on Roku for entertainment.

11. Roku has 61.3 million active users in the US.

(Source: Statista)

You’ve probably heard by now that Netflix is losing subscribers. Roku’s user base, on the other hand, is still going up. In fact, it’s more than quadrupled in the past five years—it had 14.2 million subscribers in Q1 2017 and now boasts 61.3 million monthly users.

The platform experienced a particularly noticeable increase in subscribers thanks to the pandemic, nearly doubling its audience in just two years.

Fun fact: Even if they’re not active users themselves, an estimated 80 million people in the country have access to Roku by way of inhabiting households that include a subscriber.

12. People in the US watched a combined 20.9 billion hours of Roku in the first three months of 2022.

(Source: Statista)

As the number of Roku users has gone up, so have the total hours of content watched. In the first three months of 2022, people spent a combined 20.9 billion hours streaming on the platform. For comparison, the same figure stood at 5.1 billion hours in Q1 2018. That’s a fourfold increase in four years!

Roku experienced a significant boost in 2020, the first year of COVID-19, when users streamed 58.7 billion hours throughout the year. This trend continued in 2021 as subscribers watched a combined 73.2 billion hours—that’s 8,356,164 years, or about 106,056 lifetimes.

13. The average user spends 215 minutes daily streaming on Roku.

(Source: Statista)

Roku subscribers watch a lot of content on their favorite platform—the average is now over three-and-a-half hours. That’s a massive increase from the 136 minutes (2.25 hours) from five years earlier. It’s not, however, the highest viewership time Roku’s ever seen.

At the height of the pandemic, streamers watched up to 230 minutes (that’s 10 minutes short of four hours) of content daily. Regardless, the trend remains positive.

It’s important to note that Roku’s primary revenue stream is advertising, so the longer each user spends on the platform, the more ads they see, and the more money Roku makes.

14. In the US, the Roku app had 26 million downloads in 2021.

(Source: Statista)

While Roku subscribers stream content on their TVs, that doesn’t mean they don’t use Roku’s mobile app, too—no, not to watch content on it, but in lieu of a remote.

Let’s face it, we all lose the TV remote all the time—it’s a natural part of life. Instead of wasting a few minutes looking for it each time, Roku allows you to control your streaming device, enter passwords, and choose shows entirely through its mobile app.

We don’t know how many of the 26 million people who downloaded it last year did so due to a missing remote, but we have a feeling it’s a majority.

15. Almost a quarter of users watch the Roku Channel daily.

(Source: Statista)

Roku statistics indicate that the platform’s signature Roku Channel is among its top five most popular programmes. Furthermore, 23% of subscribers watch it every single day, while another 21% watch it at least a few times a week.

That said, 17% say they rarely watch it—as in, less than once a month.

The curious thing about the Roku Channel is that while it offers a selection of thousands of shows, it’s free and, therefore, supported by ads. This is probably why it has a somewhat middle-of-the-road score of 3.6☆ out of 450,000+ ratings on Roku.

Wrap Up

The pandemic served Roku well. Though the company has lost much of its market valuation in the post-COVID world, it has retained its gains in terms of user numbers and profitability.

We’ve no doubt the number of Roku subscribers will keep growing for a while, but we’re curious to see what the streaming company will do when there’s simply no more room for further growth.

Netflix is still struggling to mend its battered reputation—perhaps Roku will learn from it.

Jordan T. Prodanoff
Jordan T. Prodanoff

A wayfarer by heart, Jordan fancies journeying into foreign lands with a camera in hand almost as much as he enjoys roving the online world. He spends his time poking at letters and pixels, trying to transmogrify them into something cool.