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By Chris Katje

Streaming platform company Roku Inc (NASDAQ:ROKU) has transitioned from being just a hardware supplier to creating its own streaming channel and attempting to crack the highly competitive streaming market. Could the addition of a couple celebrity chefs help growth?

What Happened: Roku announced several new shows at the NewFronts recently that could enhance the company’s The Roku Channel in an effort to boost its footprint in segments such as cooking, home renovation and reality television.

Seven original series were announced that will include food and lifestyle personalities Chris Kimball, Martha Stewart and Emeril Lagasse.

New original shows that will air on The Roku Channel include “Martha Cooks,” “Martha Holidays,” “Martha Gardens,” “Emeril Cooks” and “Emeril Tailgates.”

The Roku Channel will also add more than 3,000 episodes of past series from Stewart, Lagasse and Kimball, taking the content library of The Roku Channel to more than 70,000 programs available.

“We are thrilled to bring our viewers this standout content from culinary and cultural powerhouses Martha Stewart, Emeril Lagasse and Chris Kimball — for free. The Roku Channel’s impressive reach, incredibly engaged user base, and successful monetization model continues to make it an attractive destination for content partners and established talent to evaluate their programming and connect with streaming audiences at scale,” Roku Vice President of Programming Rob Holmes said.

Roku also announced its first-ever Spanish language cooking series, a new home improvement show with Jessica Alba and a new reality romantic comedy.

Related Link: Roku's Stock Plummets 22%: Here's Why Some See A Buying Opportunity 

Why It’s Important: Roku reported fourth-quarter revenue of $865.3 million, up 33% year-over-year. The revenue came in below analysts’ estimates and was hurt by supply chain disruptions for its hardware segment.

In fiscal 2021, The Roku Channel had a record year, reaching more than 80 million households in the fourth quarter. Streaming hours on The Roku Channel doubled in 2021.

Roku ended the fourth quarter with 60.1 million active accounts.

The Roku Channel could also get a boost later in 2022 with the release of an original film that is a biopic of Weird Al Yankovic. The movie stars Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe as Yankovic and will be released this fall.

Roku has pointed to all television content and advertising being done on streaming in the future. The company believes The Roku Channel could be a competitive advantage in the future.

Price Action: Roku shares are down 6.04% to $96.20 on Friday. Shares are down 57% year-to-date in 2022.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr Creative Commons
 

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