Roku is leading Amazon, Google, and Apple in the media streamer race – Roku is planning an IPO before the end of the year, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. If and when the company, which makes a line of streaming media players and licenses its software for use on a growing number of smart TVs, goes public, it’ll have a few attractive stats it can use to sell itself. The gadget maker is seeing the number of active users of its devices grow and the number of hours of streaming media they're watching jump markedly. Meanwhile, its lineup  of devices together now comprise the most widely used streaming media players in the US, according to recent Fluent data .  It’s unclear how much of that share is due to Roku offering less expensive — and presumably less profitable — boxes. We should find that out later in the year, if the company goes through with an IPO. But between the strong sales of its own boxes and, perhaps more significantly , the growing number of TVs that use its Roku OS software, the company will likely present itself as a prime beneficiary of the growing cord-cutting trend. SEE ALSO: Here are the companies that top the worldwide PC market today Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: We drove a brand-new Tesla Model X from San Francisco to New York — here's what happened






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