You would think that the category of nominees includes Netflix Inc (NASDAQ: NFLX), Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS), AT&T's Warner Media's (NYSE: T) HBO and Apple Inc's (NASDAQ: AAPL) TV Plus. But the true winner is someone you wouldn't even think of. The streaming player that has set itself apart from all others is no other than Roku (NASDAQ: ROKU), the streaming-platform specialist with impressive growth record and future prospects. And here is why Roku is the absolute winner of the streaming wars that are just heating up.
Roku's Latest Earnings Report
Roku grew revenues 49% year over year to $411 million. Not only is this impressive but it is comfortably ahead of Wall Street's consensus estimate of $392 million. Roku added 4.6 million active accounts in the fourth quarter, which is a 36% increase since last year. On top of that revenue-boosting growth trend, each user also spent more time using Roku's media-viewing platforms. The average Roku user consumed 317 hours of Roku-driven content during its latest quarter. A year earlier this score was 269 hours.
And guess what else these results did: they helped the streaming giant negotiate even higher rates for its advertising services. Roku has proven its value as it is powered by some of the world's most reliable media brands with a user-friendly platform that makes it easy to skip between different streaming platforms. So whoever decides to up its game, Roku wins regardless.
Roku Benefits As Others Up Their Antes
When the House of Mouse launched the Disney+ service, the company paid to promote that launch on the start-up screen. This means it was the first thing that Roku users see after powering up their Roku-driven smart TVs and boxes. As new services such as this launch keep coming, this is also great news for Roku in terms of driving folks to the platform and increasing engagement. And Roku's business models is just as attractive to others as the company is well positioned to bring them a large audience in best-in-class tools, so in a way: Roku joins in adding the new content value.
Don't Say Goodbye To Netflix Just Yet
Disney has a legendary ability to adapt to changing market conditions besides quality and quantity of their content portfolio titles. But Netflix has shown that not even the iconic Disney can measure up to it in one particular category. That category is financial growth.
And it pulled out the big guns when it needed to with its most recent quarter. Netflix's earnings have grown at an annual clip of 58% over the last five years, while Disney trailed far behind at an average growth rate of 16%. Long-term analyst projections call for Netflix to continue crushing it on the bottom line, expanding earnings by an average of 42% over the next half-decade. In Disney's case, Wall Street would settle for a thoroughly forgettable growth rate of roughly 0.4%. So, it's quite a difference, don't you think?
Diametrically Opposite Strategies
The difference between the two giants goes in fact very deep in their core. Disney+ will carve out a significant niche of its own as the streaming-video market evolves, no one will argue that. Nobody does kid-friendly content quite like Disney, and the studio's access to Marvel and Star Wars action can only further help. But that's where Disney+ stops. And the launch of Disney and Apple deemed as a certain death to Netflix proved to be wrong.
This is because Netflix's ambition is broader than that. This company wants to provide high-quality content for nearly every market, niche, and taste you can think of. The most-watched Netflix originals in 2019 include a sci-fi horror movie. There is also a stunning documentary about nature, a drama and crime genre in Spanish and even an exploration of teenage sexuality in Britain. So, it's in pretty much any direction you can think of.
But if you do dig a little deeper, you'll see Netflix originals in French, Korean, and Norwegian too. If you count only shows where the main language isn't English, there were about 100 seasons of original content created this year.
And Netflix has ambitious international goals ahead. And despite Disney's admirably passing the test of time, it is not even close to being that ‘little bit of everything for everyone as its audience is pretty well-defined: youngsters and all those young at soul. Netflix is way more ambitious than that.
The Award Still Goes Out To Roku
Roku's whole may be greater than the sum of the video-streaming parts. It might as well be a future media giant going that is evolving into an industry-standard media-delivery method on a global level. So far, substantially all of Roku's revenue comes from the U.S. market but Roku's growth prospects are absolutely massive.
So, for all those who don't want to wade into those murky waters to see who is the winner and who is the wannabe, Roku is a no-brainer choice. No matter who walks away with the streaming-platform trophy — and it will probably be several companies sharing the throne in the end — Roku is still bound to benefit from all of their content-creation efforts. So the award for the best business model in streaming most definitely goes out to- Roku.
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