Roku Now Has 27 Million Active Users

Posted on January 7, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Music + Videos with 26 Comments

Roku announced today that there are currently 27 million active accounts using its living room streaming devices, up about 40 percent year-over-year. Additionally, the firm says that its users streamed 7.3 billion hours of video collectively in Q4 2018, a gain of 68 percent YOY.

“Strong active account growth and accelerating streaming hours point to consumers’ growing enthusiasm for streaming, making Roku America’s largest and fastest growing TV streaming distribution platform,” Roku CEO Anthony Wood said in a prepared statement. “In 2018, we maintained our leadership in streaming players, licensed smart TVs and TV streaming hours. Roku continues to bring viewers more choice, great value, a compelling user experience – and lots of TV fun.”

It’s unusual to get hard numbers like these, so this news is even more interesting than usual. Roku was probably inspired to get more specific thanks to increased competition in this space, including Apple, which is widely expected to launch its own streaming video service sometime this year.

Separately, Roku also announced a new partnership with Westinghouse to product new Roku TV models in the first half of 2019.

“The Roku brand is synonymous with streaming and its popular smart TV platform helps us offer a content-rich experience for our customers that is very easy to use,” Westinghouse Electronics Vice-President Brett Hunt said. “We can focus on building eco-friendly, energy-saving displays while Roku manages the smart TV platform offering an overall incredible value.”

According to Roku, its TV platform has seen lots of momentum, and it claims that one-in-four smart TVs sold in the United States during the first nine months of 2018 were Roku TVs. Through these TVs and its living room devices, Roku provides its users with thousands of free and paid channels. And the firm now offers a Roku Channel—which will soon go head-to-head with Apple’s coming offering—that offers 10,000 free ad-supported movies and TV episodes; Roku Channel will soon offer its users the ability to trial and subscribe to premium subscriptions too.

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Comments (26)

26 responses to “Roku Now Has 27 Million Active Users”

  1. dcdevito

    I'm glad I switched to a Roku last year (from Chromecast). I get my NHL TV subscription, YouTube TV, Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Video services (among others) all on my box/TV input. I used to have to use 3 different devices to get the same. It doubling as a Google Cast receiver and using Google Assistant to control it are bonuses.

  2. ben55124

    I like my rokus. Wish they would add support for tuners like hdhomerun. Currently need to use a pc to transcode - which means running a pc all the time.

  3. andrek

    What planet does that person live on if he thinks Comcast is giving anyone 300gigs

  4. Dashrender

    I just don't get the need/desire to have this function built into a device that is likely designed to last 10+ years. In that time we'll go through 2 or 3 generations worth of roku devices.


    Unless these manufacturers are going to provide updates for 10+ years, the roku inside the TV is just crazy.

  5. Steve Martin

    Been a Roku user for years, and currently use Roku 4s in Family Room and Bedroom. I have both Apple TV and Chromecast, but never turn them on any more. In fact I unplugged the Chromecast because every night it reset the HDMI switch to it's channel and I had to manually switch it back to the Roku.


    I bought a Vizio TV with their Yahoo app, but the TV only supported WiFi 'n' and the app was horrible. The Roku makes use of our Wireless 'ac' routers and 5Ghz bands. So it provides proper HD quality, especially now that Comcast is providing us with 300Gigabit download speeds. Big downside to buying these "smart" TV's. The apps tend to be terrible and are rarely updated.


    Roku with Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and YouTube gives me more content than I can watch in a Month.


    Roku replaced the TiVo and we cancelled our Comcast TV subscription long ago. Now we pay for just the high speed internet service and actually save money each month, despite the fact that we have several premier channels via the Amazon app.

  6. bsobotta

    Have two Roku's and they absolutely are great. Quick boot up time, great phone app, and so much content. I was pleasantly surprised by the thing.

  7. dan188

    so this is active accounts not number of active Roku devices I presume??? my house has 4 roku devices on our account throughout our home

  8. Patrick3D

    The performance of Roku on TCL's 4K TV's is impressive and the remote is easy to use. I just wish it supported the remote that has the headphone jack built in. They want people to use an app on a smartphone instead. The last thing I want to do is have my phone on while watching a movie.

  9. RonV42

    I've had Roku like forever and when I purchased a new TV for the bedroom I made sure it was the TCL 4k version with Roku built it.  Also got the Roku speakers for it.  It's great not having to need a external box to stream and you don't have to worry about "dead" apps on smart TV's like Sony and Vizio has done in the past.   I also had my mom get rid of her cable for local TV and went with OTA antenna and replaced her TV's with TCL's also.  Now she has the best of both worlds with no bills.

  10. mikiem

    FWIW...

    Tried Chromecast Ultra -- lots to like and a good picture but captioning was hit or miss, mostly miss, so returned it. Tried Roku, but picture quality was noticeably lacking. Tried streaming using Windows, but with no apps to speak of, had to rely on web sites -- horrible experience. Tried Fire TV, found it had a good picture and stuck with it. Then found the Spectrum app, which has much more on demand content that their cable service, and shortly afterward, Spectrum dropped all unencrypted channels, so their app went from being nice to have to a necessity. Of course the Spectrum app isn't available for Fire TV, & couldn't get work-a-rounds working, so bought a couple of Rokus -- lower quality picture beats lack of content.

  11. hleduc

    I have a TCL 4K HDR TV with Roku as the operating system.  I like it a lot.  I've had many standalone Roku's but as a TV OS it is great.

  12. glenn8878

    The Roku Ultra is the best one with direct Ethernet for fast connections. Much more features than Roku Express. Roku Remote will replace television remote with volume control. You only need one remote. Roku doesn't have competitive limitations like Amazon and Google. It's neutral so it has YouTube and Amazon Prime support. Roku already replaced my cable box since Spectrum ISP has a Roku streaming app. I saved a lot of money by using the Spectrum app and not subscribe to the full service. They allowed me to have 10 cable channels a la carte plus all local channels. Hulu, Sling, and YouTube can't beat this. I paid 50% off during Black Friday. You can't beat $50.

  13. mikefarinha

    I just got my first Roku device, a TCL smart tv, and was shocked at the lack of useful parental controls. Other than that it seems like a useful piece of software to have built into a TV these days.

  14. bill_russell

    At this point, I have the sense that Amazon is too much favoring their own content and so I haven't checked out the fire stick, nor do I feel the need to. I hate when a platform also has its own competing content on their platform and they have interests in not bringing all the content they can from other sources. But, they have the right to and plenty of people are ok with that.



    I'm liking the Roku sticks - cheap and work well. Part of it is because of the remote, and being able to cast stuff to it as well. The reason I like to cast is for some things its easier to find on a phone and then start it. Then you can just use the remote to navigate the show. Roku supports basic casting, but not full chromecast features, like from photos or screen casting.

    I originally was skeptical of the need for remotes as it seemed like the chromecast's main feature was not needing a remote. I've always had issues with the casting app staying in sync with the content and its getting worse, having to futz around with restarting the app and stuff and regain control. Also on the youtube TV app you only have a 15 second seek button and it is very slow to respond.

    Grab the roku remote and then quick and responsive seeking.


    Also the private listening from the app is really cool. Its always neat how even on bluetooth headphones to your phone it can be in sync.

    Fun fact its a Linux based kernel too. Maybe not a big suprise.

  15. Chris_Kez

    I cancelled my Optimum cable subscriptions and boxes six months ago in favor of Roku and Sling TV and have been very happy. I wish them well.

  16. lvthunder

    Is it just me or does that seem to be a really low number? I use Apple mobile devices so naturally an Apple TV is right for me, but I really expected that number to be a lot higher. Are there any estimates on Apple TV or Fire devices?

  17. skborders

    I have older Roku 2s on both my TVs and would not consider anything else. Yes the UI is boring and there are ads, but I know what I want to watch and once I am there, the other things don't matter.

  18. Bats

    I wasn't a big Roku fan. I felt that the UI was super-ultra boring as opposed to the more livelier looking UI of the Amazon Fire Stick. Today, my feelings have changed about it. It's still boring, but it has all the app to watch everything and that's what matters. Amazon can't say that and neither can Android TV. For the Roku, you even have mainstream networks from other countries developing an streaming app for the platform, which is key for all the legal immigrants who migrated to the USA from their home country. 


    I actually happen have the Roku Ultra, Fire TV, and the Nvidia Shield occupying 3/4 HDMI ports on my personal TV. However, for the rest of the house (and my parents) it's all Roku. Again, it's still boring, but it's simple, straight-forward, and has everything. 


    Right now, my most used streaming device is the Nvidia Shield. The reason why I use it is because it's the best platform to watch YouTube videos. That's because you can perform a voice search for video topics you're looking for rather than do remote-typing. However, when I need to watch something else, I use my Roku. 


    Right now Roku is the de facto standard for cord-cutters. It's the only platform that can support all major cord cutting services. Both Amazon and 


    Right now Roku has got to be the "de facto" standard for cord-cutters. It's the only platform that can support all major cord cutting services. One cannot use YouTube TV with Amazon Fire TV and Android TV doesn't do DirecTV NOW, despite the fact DirecTV is coming out with their own Android TV Box. 


    Right now Roku has got to be the "de facto" standard for cord-cutters. It's the only platform that can support all major cord cutting services. One cannot use YouTube TV with Amazon Fire TV and Android TV doesn't do DirecTV NOW, despite the fact DirecTV is coming out with their own Android TV Box. 


    Right now Roku has got to be the "de facto" standard for cord-cutters. It's the only platform that can support all major cord cutting services. One cannot use YouTube TV with Amazon Fire TV and Android TV doesn't do DirecTV NOW, despite the fact DirecTV is coming out with their own Android TV Box. 


  19. TroyTruax

    Roku's service agnostic approach is the big winner here. When they offer everything but Apple it's not too hard too say, eh, who needs Apple. The only thing that we make me happier is if Roku put out a set top box that had a Plex server built into it.

    • ejuly

      In reply to TroyTruax:

      I have booth Roku Premiere and Fire TV both are wired connections. I have Fire TV Recast and an old Tivo for ant service that. Roku provides lots of content but most of it is useless for me ( I am not into Bollywood, Youtube, South American drama, or anime). Amazon has all the major services (except YTTV) and channels plue I use MoviesAnywhere for movies I have purchased. I typically use FireTV the most, occasionally use Roku, and now never use Tivo. I do have a Chromecast (got it free) but have only used twice and throught it was not ready - so it sits in a closet now.

    • wocowboy

      In reply to TroyTruax:

      I bought one of the 4k Roku Streaming players when they were on sale during the holidays to see what the fuss is all about with this platform. I have a 2-year old LG 4k OLED TV that I have had an 4k Apple TV connected to and that has been working fine. The Roku refuses to display 4k content because it claims the TV is not capable of the correct HDCP copy protection version, so I returned it to Wal Mart and will continue using my Apple TV. I tried the Roku on each one of the HDMI ports on the TV thinking that only one of them might have the proper capabilities but no dice, it gives the same complaint on each input. So, the Roku is not that great in my opinion when compared to the Apple TV. I have one BIG gripe with the Apple TV, that the YouTube app does not support 4k, but that is a Google/YouTube problem, not an Apple problem. And I can use the LG's internal YouTube app to watch 4k content if I want.

    • drprw

      In reply to TroyTruax:

      I totally agree. I use Roku because of their agnostic approach.

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