Roku opens studio to push new ad formats, programming

Roku is launching an advertising brand studio to produce new ad formats and TV programming tailored for marketers.

The studio will offer advertiser-commissioned short-form TV programs, interactive video ads, and other branded content on The Roku Channel, the company’s ad-supported streaming service.

“The shift to TV streaming has accelerated and leading advertisers are going beyond the 30-second ad,” said Dan Robbins, vice president of ad marketing at Roku, in a statement. “We’re excited to launch a new advertising brand studio for marketers to create streamer-first campaigns...”

As part of the studio launch, Roku said it completed a deal with Funny Or Die Branded Entertainment division to have some of the company’s branded content team members join Roku. Chris Bruss and Brian Toombs from Funny Or Die and Rachel Daly Helfman from Snap Inc. will join Roku’s Patrick Colletto in leadership roles for the advertising brand studio.

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The new advertising brand studio will build on Roku’s existing offerings including sponsorships and native ads like a TurboTax partnership for a 2021 March College Hoops Hub. The company worked with Roku to build a college basketball game guide on the Roku platform that offered free college basketball content and an augmented reality component. 

Roku plans to announce additional details, partners and advertising projects at its IAB NewFronts presentation on May 3, 2021. The company is kicking off this year’s presentations and Alison Levin, vice president of global ad revenue and marketing solutions at Roku, said her company is looking forward to “sharing how marketers can buy TV like you watch TV.”

In 2020, Roku recorded $1.8 billion in revenue, $1.3 billion of which was platform revenue, which is generated through ad sales, subscription and transactional revenue sharing, sales of premium channels and branded channel buttons, and licensing agreements with TV manufacturers and operators.