Roku acquires Nielsen’s advanced video advertising business

Roku has entered into an agreement to acquire Nielsen’s Advanced Video Advertising (AVA) business, including Nielsen’s video automatic content recognition (ACR) and dynamic ad insertion (DAI) technologies.

Roku said the acquisition will accelerate its launch of an end-to-end DAI solution with TV programmers. Nielsen and Roku are also entering a strategic partnership to integrate complementary Nielsen ad and content measurement products into the Roku platform and further advance Nielsen ONE, the company’s cross-media measurement solution.

“Tens of billions of dollars continue to be spent annually on traditional TV advertising,” said Louqman Parampath, vice president of product management at Roku, in a statement. “Combining Nielsen’s AVA technology with Roku’s innovative ad tech and scale will enable us to deliver the benefits of TV streaming advertising to traditional TV. Roku will bring the promise of DAI to the market for the first time ever at scale — providing better targeting and measurement for advertisers, creating easy integration and additional revenue opportunities for programmers’ ad sales teams, and improving the TV experience for viewers."

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Roku and Nielsen will also enter into a long-term commercial agreement to use Total Ad Ratings (TAR) on the Roku platform. Roku’s media sales and ad-buying platform, OneView, will natively integrate Nielsen “always on” Digital Ad Ratings (DAR) for advertisers. Roku will also enable publishers to implement Nielsen Digital Content Ratings (DCR).

“The measurement of ads and content on Roku devices will accelerate the path to a single, deduplicated cross-media currency,” said Scott N. Brown, general manager of audience measurement at Nielsen, in a statement. “As Roku brings the power of dynamic ad insertion to all forms of TV, we’re excited to help monetize the addressable market by measuring smart TV as a currency, which Nielsen can do at scale.”

Roku said the collaboration will expand the footprint of smart TVs and other devices, nearing 100 million in total, in which Nielsen can enable media sellers and buyers to measure and monetize addressable advertising.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021. After the deal, Roku will bring on Nielsen AVA employees and taking ownership of a portfolio of ACR and DAI patents. Roku said its TV models already include ACR today and will include DAI in the near future.