Roku Is Releasing Its Own Ad Marketplace

Initial partners include Turner, Fox and Viacom

The marketplace will allow publishers to gain insight into Roku users. Roku
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Roku will offer its own advertising marketplace, called Audience Marketplace, so that advertisers can use the platform’s data on users’ streaming habits to more effectively target viewers with ads.

Roku will use its insight into the behaviors of the 21 million active accounts that use the streaming platform to help publishers, initially including Turner, Fox and Viacom, better target their ads.

“The future of TV is streamed. If all TV is streamed, then all TV ads are streamed,” said Seth Walters, vp, demand partnerships, Roku, at a press briefing. “… This is an opportunity for them to make those dollars work harder for them,” he added.

“Behaviors are changing and [people are] streaming more than ever before,” said Larry Allen, vp, ad innovation & programmatic solutions, Turner. “From a premium content standpoint, we want to be on all those platforms.”

Roku delivers 10.2 percent incremental reach over linear TV among adults ages 18-34, according to Nielsen figures cited by Roku. Headquartered in California, the price of a Roku starts at $29.99.

The biggest competitors are ad-free viewing experiences, said Noah Levine, svp, advertising data & technology solutions at Fox Networks Group. By offering better-targeted ads, publishers can try to show ads that more interest viewers, he said.

“If we want to continue as an industry, we have to value their time a bit better,” Levine said.

There have been challenges with using data to establish an identity in the OTT space, Levine said, but he called Roku’s marketplace one of the first steps to do programmatic “in a meaningful way” on connected TV, since there are “no cookies on connected TV.”

@SaraJerde Sara Jerde is publishing editor at Adweek, where she covers traditional and digital publishers’ business models. She also oversees political coverage ahead of the 2020 election.