Roku taps Best Buy retail data to target ads

Roku on Friday said it will use first party data from retailer Best Buy to better target ads on its streaming platform.

The streamer this week announced Roku-branded smart TVs are exclusively available at Best Buy stores in the U.S.

Under the new advertising and retail partnership Best Buy will provide first-party shopper data for targeting and closed-loop measurement. Roku said the agreement will help make advertising more relevant and performance-driven, with brands able to work with the partners to target, optimize and measure their ads on Roku using Best Buy data.

“Our goal is to create a better TV experience for everyone,” says Julian Mintz, co-head of U.S. Brand Sales for Roku Media, in a statement. “We’re bringing together our entire business to build the future of entertainment and advertising — making the TV experience simpler, offering the right marketing, data, tech, and scale to drive real results, and helping win the entire streamer’s journey together with Best Buy.”

Roku-branded HD and 4K TV sets are now available at Best Buy stores and online, with 11 models ranging from 24” to 75”. In announcing availability Roku also detailed key features of the Roku Plus Series TV, including QLED technology, 4K Dolby Vision, automatic brightness, local dimming, Wi-Fi 6-powered streaming and Bluetooth private listening. 

The retail partnership is the first for Roku smart TVs and Best Buy marks the latest advertising partner for the streaming company, which is putting increasing emphasis on its TVOS instead of streaming dongles. According to Parks Associates, adoption of streaming devices in the U.S. is stalling as consumer favor increasingly turns towards smart TVs.

During fourth quarter earnings Roku CEO Anthony Wood suggested the era of the streaming stick is winding down, with the Roku TV program now making up the majority of new active accounts on the platform (which currently totals 70 million). And device sales aren’t necessarily Roku’s main aim from its branded-smart TVs, according to Wood, but the company sees it as a way to innovate on its devices and platform, including for content discovery and engagement.

Alongside greater focus on TVOS is the opportunity for advertising. Roku already struck advertising partnerships with other retailers – including Walmart for a shoppable TV pilot. Roku also partnered with DoorDash for food delivery and perks through smart TV QR code activations.

On the OS front the streaming company this week also unveiled a platform-wide update that brings new features and content to its live TV and sports offering as well as an updated mobile app.