December 8, 2021
Roku Dec. 8 announced that its first original movie, Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas, in partnership with Lionsgate Television, was the top-viewed program globally on The Roku Channel during its opening weekend, and the most-watched movie premiere ever in Canada on The Roku Channel. In addition to the strong opening weekend results, the movie was nominated for a Critics Choice Award for “Best Movie Made for Television.” This is Roku’s first Critics Choice nomination.
“It is amazing to see such a strong affinity for the film, not only from fans of the series (the now canceled “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist”), but also from first-time viewers,” Colin Davis, head of original scripted programming at Roku, said in a statement. To have our first original film be the top viewed program on The Roku Channel, plus picking up a Critics Choice nomination all within the opening week, is the best early holiday present we could have asked for.”
Movie/series creator Austin Winsberg said Roku was an “incredible partner” on the movie’s production, including sharing his vision to create a heartfelt holiday story.
“Together, we set out to create something joyous, hopeful and heartfelt during a holiday season that we knew may be challenging for some,” Winsberg said. “Seeing how Roku viewers around the world have responded to a story that is so deeply personal to me has been beyond gratifying.”
While Roku isn’t releasing actual viewership data for Extraordinary Christmas, Samba TV is. And the numbers are extraordinarily bad. The data tacking, which tracks more than 46 million opted-in televisions globally, including 28 million in the U.S., reported that just 49,000 connected U.S. homes watched the movie Dec. 1-5. Internationally, just 451 British households, 222 German homes and 1,000 Australian homes watched.
Regardless, since launching in May, Roku Originals have been an important audience driver for The Roku Channel. In the next 24 months, the ad-supported VOD platform is expected to premiere 50 new original programs.
Launched in 2017, The Roku Channel this year saw record growth, reaching U.S. households with an estimated 70 million people in Q1 2021. In Q3, the AVOD service was a top five channel on the Roku platform in the U.S. by active account reach. Today, The Roku Channel features more than 80,000 movies and programs, and more than 200 live linear television channels. It licenses and distributes content from more than 200 partners.
In addition to Roku devices, The Roku Channel is available on Web, iOS and Android devices, Amazon Fire TV and select Samsung TVs and can be accessed internationally in the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom.