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AP Images

Roku, the over-the-top (OTT) streaming player service, plans to launch an IPO before the end of the year, The Wall Street Journal reports. Sources familiar with the matter say the company has recently hired hired Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Allen & Co. as underwriters and could privately file in the next few weeks. The company reportedly expects a valuation of $1 billion

Why it matters: Roku flirted with an IPO as a hardware company in 2014 but waited until they built out their streaming services to diversify their revenue stream. So far, it seems that they've done pretty well:

  • 2016 was a record growth year for Roku, ending the year with 13 million accounts. By years' end, 1 out of every 8 U.S. smart TV's (now over 50% of the U.S. TV market) runs Roku OS.
  • The company expects a 50% increase in models this year, with 150 models available to consumers in North America.
  • Roku currently leads the streaming box and stick device OTT category over Amazon, Google and Apple in device penetration, according to comScore.

Go deeper

Updated 10 hours ago - Technology

From Malcolm X to "Free Britney," new media shapes the justice system

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

True crime documentaries, podcasts and social media campaigns are bringing new attention to real-world legal proceedings — and are often affecting the outcome.

Why it matters: New media platforms can instantly put a national spotlight on cases that have long been forgotten or buried under red tape.

Updated 12 hours ago - Health

The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.

Updated 13 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 Omicron variant cases identified in Europe, U.K.

People wearing masks walk in London on Nov. 25. Photo: Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images

Health officials in the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany announced on Saturday that they've detected the first known cases of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The discoveries come as the world scrambles to respond to concerns over the new variant, discovered in South Africa earlier this week.

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