If the future pans out as Roku expects it, the TV industry is going to need some new capabilities to deliver on new promises.
In a recent research exercise dubbed The Streaming Decade, the connected TV hardware and platform company outlined its belief that all TV – and, therefore, all TV ads – will be delivered via streaming in the next 10 years.
For its international ad sales business, that means the race is on to deliver the advertising targeting and effectiveness.
CTV fills the gap
“Over 20% of consumers have now effectively opted out of watching broadcast TV,” says Roku’s international ad sales director Mike Shaw in this video interview with Beet.TV editorial advisor Jon Watts, citing Ofcom research.
“Their method of consumption has moved to streaming.
“CTV is now filling a really important gap of capturing that attention from that group on what has long been proven to be the most effective branding screen in the house.”
Putting the UK in RoKU
As elsewhere, Roku’s monetization strategy in the UK is no longer just about selling gadgets.
The company is now a major ad sales operation, whose inventory includes its own Roku Channel footprint plus, where possible, partner inventory, large and small.
In the UK, Roku carries channel apps from broadcasters ITV, Channel 4, Channel 4 and UKTV, plus the ad-free BBC.
“We help with monetization,” Shaw explains. “Part of the deals we do for fair value exchange with our content partners often involves monetization of inventory or sharing some of that inventory.”
Roku Channel is used more to offer an ad sales split with smaller content providers that do not have their own app or channel strategy.
Roku + Finecast
To tap into buyer demand, Roku leverages Finecast, the GroupM division specialising in advanced and addressable TV ad buying.
“Finecast is really valuable partner for us in the UK,” says Roku’s Shaw.
“Obviously it represents a huge pool of demand to coming out of the GroupM agencies.
“They have the targeting technology, the addressability that allows those brands to really extend it to the audiences they want.
Pursuing the combined canvas
Ultimately, that’s all in pursuit of offering advertisers the best experience.
Shaw, who came to Roku when it acquired his dataxu, says streaming TV offers “the creative beauty of the television” combined with data-driven targeting.
“Connected TV now allows broadcasters and platforms to really deliver at the scale that the walled gardens have beforehand,” he says, “- but, arguably, with a far greater creative canvas in front of them.”