Roku Trends: Fourth of July, Space Race, and Olympic Streaming  

Ever see a name or event trending on social media and find yourself curious to learn more? You’re not alone. Many people seek out more information with a search on Roku. Each month, we highlight particularly interesting data trends we have discovered on our platform and how they relate to user’s content decisions.  

This data is a lot of fun. For example, on the Fourth of July this year, searches for “hot dog” went up by 2986%. What kind of hot dog content were people trying to watch? Were they just about to grill and wanted some tips? New recipes? The total number of hot dogs consumed at the famous Fourth of July Coney Island competition? We may never know.  

But here’s what we do know: the space race got people more interested than ever in Richard Branson and the Olympics got streamers fired up about gymnastics like never before.  

Billionaires Get Lost in Space, Sending Searches to the Moon 

While gathering with friends and celebrating the summer may have been on many Americans’ minds, the world’s richest men had their eyes fixed on a more distant target: space. This month, the race for space began to heat up with Richard Branson, Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos building rockets headed for the cosmos.  

Here’s what we found:  

  • During the week of Virgin Galactic’s launch, searches for “Richard Branson” increased by 1233.3% 

  • During the week of Blue Origin’s launch, searches for “Jeff Bezos” increased by 67.4%  

 

We think the big difference here is that Branson had a livestream during his space launch, which likely ended up getting broadcast across a lot of Roku TVs.  

The new space race seemed to make more Roku users look to the stars, too.  

From June through July, we saw search increases for space-related titles:   

  • +36.9% for “Star Trek”  

  • +32.5% for “Apollo 13”  

  • +24.4% for “E.T.”  

  • +19.6% for “WALL-E”  

  • +16.7% for “Alien” 

  • +14.3% for “Armageddon” 

  • +9.5% for “Star Wars” 

space race trends

The Olympics Take Home Gold in Streamer Searches  

An event five years in the making, the Tokyo Olympics represent the pinnacle of human athletic achievement, as well as some of the most mentally and physically demanding competitions in sport. Here are what Roku streamers have been searching for as the competition unfolds: 

We observed week over week search increases of: 

  • +741% for “Olympics,”  

  • +164% for “Gymnastics,”  

  • +155% for “Volleyball,”  

  • +146% for “Softball” 

Top searches related to the Games through the first week were: 

1. Olympics 

2. Gymnastics 

3. Soccer 

4. Track 

5. Surfing 

We aren't sure if this is a way to measure popularity of the sport or, maybe, just how much conversation was happening around each event. 

Watercooler Moments with Roku 

When there are key cultural moments, big news, and important events, many Roku users turn on their TV to learn more. We think this data is a great way to understand how streamers make viewing decisions – and what kind of ad experiences may resonate with them most.  

As an advertiser, when you better understand what’s captivating and interesting to audiences, you are best equipped to meet the content moment. Ready to capture those moments and streamer attention by advertising on Roku?

Learn more about what Roku can do for you with "5 Ways to Unlock the Power of TV Streaming."