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Roku Unveils New Ad Formats, Data Partnerships

Among its latest innovations, Roku debuted a dedicated NBCUniversal destination for the Summer Olympics, home screen video ad placements, advertiser showrooms and a new partnership with The Trade Desk.
roku newfronts

Roku unveiled a number of big advertising integrations and innovations at its annual IAB NewFront presentation on April 30 in New York, including new video experiences, ad solutions and partnerships with The Trade Desk and iSpot. 

Specifically, the streaming platform introduced:

  • An NBCUniversal Summer Olympics destination: The 2024 Paris Olympics will have its own designated destination on the Roku home screen menu for Peacock’s coverage of the games. The “NBC Olympics Zone” also offers sponsors a promotional opportunity to align their brands with sporting events.
  • Video-supported home screen ad experiences: Roku’s largest home screen ad now features video placements allowing marketers to capture viewers at the start of their streaming journey. Additionally, marketers can now participate in Roku’s “Fan and Theme” experiences, which are dedicated spots accessible via the home screen menu, through custom brand moments.
  • Advertiser Showrooms: This new “brand-first destination” allows advertisers to build engaging and interactive brand creatives, “designed to turn inspiration into action.”
  • The Trade Desk partnership: The collaboration leverages Roku Media and audience and behavioral data to allow The Trade Desk clients to better understand and optimize their campaigns for TV streaming viewers.
  • Roku City ad innovations: DoorDash will be the first advertiser to be featured on the updated Roku City screensaver, which in April added TV and movie cars to the design. Also, over the next year, Roku will allow advertisers to feature in the iconic Roku City screensaver through “new dynamic video experiences.”
  • iSpot partnership: This expanded partnership with the cross-platform TV measurement company helps advertisers enhance ad measurement through iSpot’s Unified Measurement solution.

Additionally, the expanded partnership with iSpot makes it the preferred third-party measurement partner for Roku, offering direct and programmatic advertisers metrics such as verified ad exposures and outcomes delivered across ads running on the streaming platform, per an iSpot media release

In addition, iSpot will integrate Roku’s advertising watermark to validate the authenticity of video ad inventory originating on the Roku platform. iSpot will also gain access to Roku’s exclusive, authenticated audience information. According to internal Roku data, the home screen reaches nearly 120 million people every day.

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“Given Roku’s unmatched scale, we have a unique opportunity to solve some of the industry’s biggest challenges, including massive audience fragmentation and the splintering of viewer attention,”Charlie Collier, president of Roku Media, said in a media release. “Viewers in the Roku experience are engaged in our uncluttered, elevated ad environment well before dispersing to apps, networks and paywalls. For advertisers and publishers of all kinds, this makes Roku the broadest reach lead-in to all of television.”

Additionally, a selection of new Roku Channel Originals was also unveiled at the NewFronts, including “Tightrope!”, a new comedy series with executive producer Bryan Cranston and starring Ty Burrell; “Tracee Travels,” a travel docuseries starring Tracee Ellis Ross; “Best Bite Wins,” a cooking competition series hosted by Josh Peck; “The Great Home Giveaway,” a home giveaway series from “This Old House”; and “What Drives You with John Cena,” a celebrity-filled talk show hosted by Cena.

“Roku continues to develop exciting programming that captures the very audiences that advertisers are looking to attract,” said David Eilenberg, head of content, Roku Media. “With our data and tech capabilities, we can get these vital new shows in front of viewers who will love them — and create the perfect showcase for brands, too.”

Roku also expanded “key tentpole franchises,” such as “The Great American Baking Show” and “Honest Renovations.” “The Great American Baking Show” was renewed for a third season with seasonal specials launching throughout the year, and “Honest Renovations” will debut a holiday edition.

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