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Roku Joins NewFronts to Move Ad Dollars to Digital

Fern Siegel

Digital outlets of all stripes are looking for new sources of revenue. Roku has a plan.

Along with YouTube, Snap Inc., Facebook and Samsung, Roku wants a shot at the $70 billion in advertising contracted during the traditional TV upfronts, reports Variety. Come June 22, the digital companies will present at the virtual NewFronts, pitching advertisers on why they are the best place to capture viewers.

“Streaming is accelerating more than ever before, and linear TV’s future is pretty unknown,” Allison Levin, Roku’s vice president of ad sales and strategy, told the trade magazine. “We believe that this really is the moment, and this is the streaming decade.”

And it’s a crowded field. Add Tubi, Pluto TV, along with Peacock’s upcoming national launch into the mix.

But Roku has a long-term strategy: positioning new tools to lure advertisers. For example, a new Roku service can pull any ad campaign, in any ZIP code, if regulations change. That allows marketers to substitute national ads in a quick, targeted way.

The streaming interface will also let advertisers pay less for a short ad versus a 30-second spot, something traditional TV doesn’t do. Plus, a new dashboard lets marketers calculate how many times a spot runs — and pay only for viewers that haven’t seen the ad on linear TV.

Similarly, to beef up Hulu’s ad attractiveness, Disney is hoping to bundle deals that lets an ad run on Hulu and select Disney TV networks.

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