In a rather interesting showcase of just how reactionary Wall Street is right now in regard to streaming video companies, Roku suffered its worst day on the Nasdaq in more than a year, cratering 14%, as Macquarie Research downgraded its stock on fears that the ad-supported OTT space is becoming too competitive.
The MacQuarie report followed news earlier in the week that Roku was close to announcing a deal with Apple to integrate AirPlay 2 into its OTT ecosystem.
Bouncing wildly from a high of around $76 a share to just under $30 last year, Roku stock took a smaller hit in early January when, at the Consumer Electronics Show, Apple announced a deal to integrate AirPlay 2 into smart TVs made by Samsung, LG, Vizio and Sony.
With AirPlay 2 allowing owners of these TVs to port over movies and music from their iPhones and other Apple devices, smart TVs made by rivals TCL, Sharp, Hisense, Hitachi, Sanyo, and RCA—which use Roku is their main user interface—were suddenly at a competitive disadvantage.
That would be neutralized by Roku’s deal with Apple—a major victory in Roku’s quest to control the pole position in the OTT app universe. Very often, the it’s the ecosystem that comes with the TV that the consumer ends up using.
Regardless, with Disney, WarnerMedia and NBCU each prepping their own streaming platforms, Macquarie has concerns about the driving revenue force pushing Roku’s explosive growth—ad sales on the Roku Channel.
With Roku surging on Wall Street in recent weeks, Macquarie downgraded the stock to neutral, on fears that the major media conglomerates will no longer supply the Roku Channel with content.
Don’t be surprised if a “Roku Originals” announcement sends the stock right back up.