Roku, Snap Executives Monitoring Coronavirus Impact On Businesses

Roku, a pioneer of streaming to the TV, said it’s keeping a close eye on its manufacturing supply chain in China where the coronavirus could impact how quickly it can replenish its product.

Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom conference in San Francisco, outgoing CFO Steve Louden said the company had moved its player manufacturing to Vietnam in the fall due to the U.S.-China trade war, but  “other parts … run through China, so to the extent that there is continued oudisruption in the supply chain” it’s something they continue to monitor. He said the post-holiday period is an important time for many companies to replenish inventory. The coronavirus hit China in January.

Speaking just after, Snap CEO Evan Siegel said the impact of the virus on the multimedia messaging app has been minimal. Its users “are concentrated both geographically and demographically in places less impacted” – meaning mostly outside of Asia and focused around 13 to 34 year-olds who don’t exhibit the same health impact as older people.

Siegel said he worries more about how Snap’s advertising partners will be impacted.

That’s going to increasingly become an issue with all kind of media companies as advertisers weigh whether and how to spend on if they think people will be staying in more and buying less.

“We are optimistic this will be a short-term impact [but] .. will keep an eye on the situation,” Siegel said.

Both execs thanked the audience for being there. The four-day conference saw several top companies including Facebook, Fox and Walt Disney canceling presentations at the annual event, echoing closures and postponements across the tech, media and entertainment sector all week, from developers’ conferences to MipTV to advertiser upfront presentations.

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