LAS VEGAS — Roku hopes to unveil a series of clean room integrations with its partners by the end of this Q1 2023.

Clean room technology allows media buyers and sellers to match their consumer data without directly sharing it with each other.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Youssef Ben-Youssef, Head of Ad Platform, Roku, says the company already uses the tools – and more adoption is planned.

Clean room timeline

“We started  launching some of these integrations live in restricted beta,” Ben Youssef says.

“Hopefully, by end of Q1, (they) would be generally available for a lot of our advertising and publisher partners.”

“The sky is the limit here. Hopefully, the adoption is quite fast and we’ll see, we’ll learn as we progress.”

Focus beyond privacy

Clean rooms enable advertisers to share data with their partners in a secure environment.

Use of clean room technology is expected to increase across various industries, including media and advertising. This is due to the growing importance of protecting sensitive data and adhering to privacy regulations.

“The concept of clean room is super important for us,” says Roku’s Ben Youssef.

The company has a footprint of 70 million users and a growing business powering ads – both for its channel partners and for its own channels.

“The data that we have, we put it at the disposal of agencies and publishers to help optimise the transactions and the buy and sell of inventory on our platform,” says Ben Youssef, who says clean room software helps in the new privacy environment.

“It helps us basically get rid of all of the issues around privacy and sending data to an entity that potentially we may not trust, or just having the data outside of our ecosystem.

“It allows us to focus on the data activation piece, to do measurement, to do all of the nice things that we want to do with our advertisers, agencies, and publisher partners, and allow the data clean room technology to handle, as an escrow, the management of the data itself.”

Driving clean room adoption

Ben Youssef says one challenge to the software is tech stack alignment.

“All of these scenarios depend on the ability of the partner to use the same clean room technology … the same software version,” he says.

“That’s where things get a little bit trickier and complicated, and where we are still at the early stages of the adoption. Sometimes certain companies may be ahead of others, and we have to wait a little bit.

“We will not be able to progress quickly unless these companies potentially will upgrade their solutions and provide some flexibilities.

“That’s where actually companies like Habu come in handy because they provide that orchestration layer and make things necessarily a little bit easier for the partners to maybe share the data without having to code every iota of the use case.”

Uses and criteria

But the category is mature enough that Roku has identified three baseline features it expects from the growing number of clean room tech vendors:

  1. Security: “We have to be a hundred percent trusting in that platform when it comes to the management of the data.”
  2. Scalability: “The amount of data is massive and the different use cases that we would apply to activate that data for a variety of use cases also will make the compute power probably huge.”
  3. Cost-effectiveness: “If the solution’s super expensive or it’s way more expensive than building it in-house, obviously it becomes like less appealing.”

And Ben Youssef revealed three specific categories of use cases for which clean rooms are useful:

  1. Activation of audience segments. “We want our advertiser and agency partners to come to Roku, be able to use our high quality data and target the 70 million Roku households.”
  2. Measurement: “The idea is to put the data at (partners’) disposal in a very secure fashion. The guys come in, they run their scripts, they run their queries, and they’re able to learn and get the KPIs that they need in a super privacy compliant fashion.”
  3. Signal empowerment: “Think of ACR data that is available on the vast majority of the Roku TVs. We can put that information highly valuable at the disposal of a publisher and enable them to sell their inventory at a higher CPM in the privacy-compliant fashion.”

You’re watching ‘Clean Rooms: Collaboration Goes Mainstream,’ a Beet.TV Leadership Series produced at CES 2023, presented by Habu. For more videos from this series, please visit this page. For all of our coverage from CES 2023, please click here.