Roku Inks Multiyear Renewal With Amazon for Prime Video, IMDb TV
Roku announced that it reached a multiyear extension of its distribution agreement with Amazon, providing for continued access to Prime Video and IMDb TV apps on Roku devices.
Terms of the deal, announced Monday, weren’t disclosed. Roku’s stock rose more than 7% on the news, although the share price is still well under half the streaming platform’s 52-week high.
Roku and Amazon’s renewal was reached without any public fireworks erupting — in contrast to some of Roku’s recent distribution deals.
In December, Roku reached a multiyear deal extension with Google to distribute both YouTube and YouTube TV, resolving a months-long public disagreement between the parties that caught the attention of some U.S. legislators after Roku complained that Google was behaving in an anticompetitive manner. Among other things, Roku had objected to what it said were Google’s demands to give YouTube search results preference over other content sources via a dedicated row and to omit search results from non-YouTube sources if users were in the YouTube app on Roku.
In 2020, Roku also took months to hammer out deals for WarnerMedia’s HBO Max and NBCUniversal’s Peacock.
Under Roku’s standard distribution agreement, it takes 30% of ad inventory on partner channels and keeps 20% of gross transaction revenue for paid applications. However, Amazon may have been able to negotiate different terms with Roku.
Roku first launched IMDb TV in January 2021, while Amazon’s Prime Video has been on Roku devices in the U.S. for more than a decade. Amazon added the Roku Channel to Fire TV device family in October 2020.
Roku ended 2021 with 60.1 million active accounts, up 17% year over year and an increase of 3.7 million for Q4 (but well below its pandemic-fueled gain of 14.3 million in the year-earlier period). The company has seen a revenue slowdown in its Platforms segment (representing ad and content revenue-sharing deals) and rising costs in its hardware business.
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