Roku has come a long way from its origin as the Netflix streaming player, and today the company filed for its IPO. The documents reveal that it hopes to raise as much as $100 million, and give more insight than ever into exactly how it's doing. The company says it had 15.1 million active accounts at the end of June, more than the number of subscribers counted by the fourth largest cable company in the US. It also mentioned that former Netflix tech lead Neil Hunt joined its board of directors last month.
That's particularly notable since its devices are heavily used to access Netflix. In its section listing business risks, Roku explained that while it doesn't generate much revenue from the streamer, Netflix accounted for one-third of all hours streamed through its platform in 2016 and the first six months of 2017. It also explained that it doesn't make any money from YouTube, even though that's the most-viewed ad-supported channel on its platform.
Analyst Parks Associates announced just a couple of weeks ago that according to its estimates, Roku is increasing its lead in the streaming media player landscape, now accounting for 37 percent of streaming media players. The ability to turn all those active users into viewers of subscription or ad supported channels that Roku does make money on will be its main challenge, but so far the company's mostly content-agnostic approach has worked for publishers and viewers alike.