HOLLYWOOD, Florida – Streaming television pioneer Roku foresees ad loads decreasing and, as a result, the value of ads has to increase. “From an ad strategy perspective, we feel strongly that an empowered consumer needs a more relevant and better ad experience than they’ve had historically in TV,” says VP of Advertising & Audience Development Scott Rosenberg.
This is why the company “is very focused on using data and interactivity to boost the value of the advertising that the consumer sees on our platform,” Rosenberg says in an interview with Beet.TV during a break at the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting. “We feel ad loads are likely to go down, and so ad value has to go up.”
Roku has a three-pronged approach to its ad business, starting with its endemic vertical that works with companies like HBO, Hulu, Netflix and others to garner more downloads and subscribers and to sell more movies. Second is its outreach to brand marketers “who are focused on the fact that TV viewers are moving their TV time to devices like Roku and they need to follow with their investments,” Rosenberg explains.
The third part of Roku’s ad business is its platform strategy, wherein it makes the technology and data originally built for its own networks available to publishers on its platform. “It’s more of an ecosystem enablement strategy,” says Rosenberg.
The recent expansion of Roku’s partnership with IPG’s Magna is the fruit of Roku’s efforts to develop the programmatic tools, data, its DMP and ad stack—all of which are necessary for more advanced advertising. In a separate interview with Beet.TV, Amanda Medeiros Kigel, Magna’s VP of Partner Innovation, says the exclusive arrangement provides advanced targeting “that we really don’t have access to with other partners” in the over-the-top TV space.
“The Magna partnership is really about creating a tighter, deeper link between the two companies so that Magna can bring those capabilities to their clients,” says Rosenberg. “Programmatic is a big part of the relationship as well because as you infuse more and more data into a transaction from the buy side and the sell side, you really need programmatic pipes to transact it properly.”
Roku’s free, ad-supported collection of apps is now the fastest-growing segment on its platform in terms of app count and growth of usage, according to Rosenberg. “Free is clearly still very important to our viewers and to OTT viewers,” he says.
This video is part of a series produced at the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting. Beet.TV’s coverage of this event is sponsored by Index Exchange. For more videos from this series, please visit this page.