Roku launches dynamic linear ad solution

Roku last week launched the beta version of its new dynamic linear ads (DLA) product, designed to increase the addressable advertising reach of linear TV. The program will release commercially later this year and is already backed by several publishers, including AMC Networks and Crown Media.

Louqman Parampath, Roku’s VP of product management, told Fierce Video the DLA program is built on top of Nielsen’s automatic content recognition (ACR) software, which Roku acquired last year along with the measuring company’s Advanced Video Advertising (AVA) business. ACR technology detects which ads users see on linear TV, he said. DLA insertion replaces linear ads perceived as generic, with ones that better target individuals.

Acquiring Nielsen’s dynamic ad insertion (DAI) capabilities was an opportunity to integrate DAI into Roku’s OS and offer linear addressable capabilities for Roku TVs, Parampath said. Many MVPDs offer linear addressable advertising, he continued, and Roku’s scale of service makes the company poised to penetrate the addressable advertising space. Roku TVs made up over one-third of U.S. smart TV platforms sold, and Roku gained over four million new active users in Q4 2021.

“Our partnership with Roku for their beta DLA pilot is an incredible opportunity for us to learn, understand, and leverage the full potential of this evolving technology, which is poised to revolutionize the way marketers identify and communicate with their target consumers,” said Casey Gould, SVP of ad sales and advanced advertising sales at Crown Media, in a statement.

Parampath also noted Roku’s identity and data capabilities are integral to its advertising solution.

“Because every Roku TV has a logged-in user, we can deterministically bring our targeting capabilities that rely on [identified users] and offer that to publishers,” he said. Ad sellers can more effectively reach linear TV consumers by using Roku’s linear addressable inventory, made available through Roku’s connected TV package. As streaming consumption continues to grow, it’s important that linear and connected TV have the same access to data and targeting capabilities, said Parampath.

As addressable advertising collects a certain amount of user data, platforms that create a direct, transparent relationship with consumers will have a unique advantage in the advertising landscape, he explained. This can be achieved by ensuring consumers can effectively choose whether they want to opt-in or opt-out from targeted ads.

Once Roku’s DLA product hits the market, Parampath expects it will be used via direct ad sales as well as programmatic means. Connected TVs will likely also play a key role in addressable advertising.

“Roku at the end of the day is a consumer company,” he concluded. “As connected TV advertising grows, we want to help it grow in a way where consumer interest and consumer consent are on the top of everyone’s mind.”