Roku CEO explains why the company is launching its own line of TVs

Roku announces its own TV line at CES 2023

Roku is counting on its growing consumer base beyond 70 million customers as it launches its own line of televisions, CEO Anthony Wood told CNBC on Thursday.

The streaming company unveiled its new line of televisions, Roku Select and Roku Plus Series, Wednesday during the Consumer Electronics Show.

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Roku has sold hardware items in the past, like sound-amplifying devices and streaming players, though they have often been the money-losing parts of its business. Still, Wood is optimistic about selling the new TVs.

“We generate billions of dollars a year in revenue from advertising, from distributing streaming services and we have a great platform to do that, but the core of that business is the market share of our platform,” said Wood.

It will sell 11 TV models ranging from 24 to 75 inches, which will be available for purchase in the spring. Prices will be between $119 to $999.

Roku’s commitment to hardware comes after a tough year that saw its stock fall 80%, forcing the company to cut costs in areas like advertising and jobs.

The company tightened its fourth quarter guidance in November, projecting $800 million in revenue, a more than 7% decrease year over year. Weeks later, the company announced it was cutting around 200 jobs, or 5% of its workforce. It also reined in its advertising expenses in an attempt to slim margins.

“If you look at our overall ad business, obviously the industry is hurting right now,” said Wood, though he noted that advertising in streaming is growing faster than traditional television advertising.

But Wood is staying hopeful, banking on the momentum of the streaming industry at large.

“Roku streaming hours were 87 billion hours of streaming last year” said Wood. “That was up 19% year over year. The world is moving to streaming. All TV is going to be streamed, that means all TV advertising is going to be streamed.”

So far, Roku’s streaming technology has been usable through TVs made by manufacturers Hisense, TCL, Philips, JVC and others. By introducing its own television line, it will compete with those very partners.

Shares of Roku are up more than 4% in the early going of 2023, closing at $42.76 on Thursday.

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