Roku’s New Video Ad Network Will Target Highly Specific Audiences

A rare model

Roku is poised to launch a video advertising network, according to The Wall Street Journal today. The company will sell advertising to marketers and agencies, and the ads will be distributed alongside content from over 1,800 partners.

The model is similar to the way traditional TV channels sell advertising, with the distinction that Roku can leverage its digital technology and data to target incredibly specific audiences. Rather than buying ads on a particular show, you might buy ads for a highly targeted demo, the paper reported.

Roku has grown in popularity as an all-in-one device that lets you access traditional networks, streaming services and on-demand movies from your TV. It's channels include Hulu, Vevo and Sony-backed Crackle, along with Fox, CBS, A&E and the History Channel. Although, the company hasn't said which of its channels will be available for advertising on the new network. 

“There are lots of ad-supported business models coming onto our platform now,” Scott Rosenberg, Roku’s vp of business development, told the Journal. “We decided there was a lot more work we could be doing to help our partners with monetization.”

The company has been building the new ad network for the past nine months, including hiring New York- and Los Angeles-based sales teams and partnering with advertising tech firm LiveRail to integrate ad content and streamed shows.

This new network gives Roku an edge since other over-the-top streaming platforms don't offer a similar service. “Apple TV and Amazon don’t offer any advertising solution,” said Tracey Scheppach, innovations director at Publicis-owned VivaKi.