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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

Dave Lawler, author of World
51 mins ago - World

Venezuela's predictable elections herald an uncertain future

The watchful eyes of Hugo Chávez on an election poster in Caracas. Photo: Cristian Hernandez/AFP via Getty

Venezuelans will go to the polls on Sunday, Nicolás Maduro will complete his takeover of the last opposition-held body, and much of the world will refuse to recognize the results.

The big picture: The U.S. and dozens of other countries have backed an opposition boycott of the National Assembly elections on the grounds that — given Maduro's tactics (like tying jobs and welfare benefits to voting), track record, and control of the National Electoral Council — they will be neither free nor fair.

Biden plans to ask public to wear masks for first 100 days in office

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden told CNN on Thursday that he plans to ask the American public to wear face masks for the first 100 days of his presidency.

The big picture: Biden also stated he has asked NIAID director Anthony Fauci to stay on in his current role, serve as a chief medical adviser and be part of his COVID-19 response team when he takes office early next year.

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