Roku Inc., the company behind the massively successful little video streaming box that could, is contemplating the possibility of an initial public offering in the U.S. sometime this year, according to a report by Bloomberg citing anonymous sources. Officially speaking, a Roku spokeswoman has declined to comment and affirmed the company’s policy of not discussing future financing plans.
The California-based company is known for its trademark set-top boxes that share its namesake — digital media players exalted by many for their streaming capabilities, which allow users to easily stream content via services such as Netflix and Amazon on their TVs. The Roku has become one of the symbolic devices at the forefront of the cord cutter movement, and it’s certainly arguable that such a move into the public realm might not be a bad idea for the company. After all, the Roku isn’t just a Netflix vessel — it offers many free channels, games and more — and it’s holding its own against Apple.
According to research by Parks Associates, the number of U.S. households with a streaming media device, such as a Roku or Apple TV, has doubled since 2011, reaching 14 percent in 2013. Roku is preferred by 37 percent of this burgeoning army of cord cutters, beating out Apple TV by 13 percent.
Considering all these factors, and the fact that Roku has spent some considerable time in the spotlight recently with the release of its latest box, the third-generation Roku 3, and Roku TV, a new line of televisions with the now-recognizable Roku interface already embedded directly into the device, we wouldn’t be surprised if Roku went public by the end of the year.