Adobe’s New Partnership With Roku Will Help Advertisers Engage With 27 Million OTT Viewers

New deal lets marketers target users with first-party data for the first time

Both parties hope the partnership will significantly scale programmatic buying on Roku - Credit by Getty Images
Headshot of Ronan Shields

Adobe and Roku will today unveil a partnership that gives advertisers the ability to more precisely target audiences on the streaming platform, a development that comes as trade bodies look to shore up measurement in the nascent space.

The partnership will be fully unveiled later today at the Adobe Summit where presenters will go into detail on how marketers can now use elements of the Adobe Advertising Cloud to match their own audience data with Roku’s in a way that provides an unprecedented degree of targeting granularity for those eager to engage with the streaming provider’s 27 million viewers.

Per the terms of the partnership media buyers using the Adobe Advertising Cloud, Adobe Audience Manager and Adobe Analytics can target relevant Roku audiences and then use programmatic technologies to automate their media buys.

Keith Eadie, vp and general manager of Adobe Advertising Cloud, said the partnership would enable advertisers to better manage elements of their cross-screen campaigns such as frequency capping and that it would also help them to better measure the outcomes of their media buys on OTT—the fastest-growing channel on the Adobe media buying platform.

“The industry has been demanding this, certainly our clients have, and to get this done with Roku was very transformative and pushes the industry forward,” he told Adweek.

“This is a unique relationship in terms of bringing data into the connected TV space.”

Meanwhile, Scott Rosenberg, general manager, business platform, Roku, said the partnership would help take programmatic trading on the OTT service—most ads on Roku are currently bought and sold manually—to “the next level.”

He added, “Programmatic trading is already a material part of our business, but it is still a minority but some of that is a function of the fact that TV marketers are not by and large as yet trading programmatically.”

This is due to the fact that the majority of TV ad space is still traded on a manual basis, a reality lamented in an Adobe whitepaper that examines the future of TV advertising industry that was released to coincide with the enterprise software giant’s annual flagship conference.

However, Rosenberg explained to Adweek this is about to change. “Programmatic is not the predominant methodology for TV marketers, but it’s coming in strong … this partnership is so important because one of the friction points, that holds programmatic trading of OTT back is scale,” he added.

The announcement comes the same week as the Media Rating Council has begun to circulate a proposed standard for video ad measurement across screens. According to reports, the proposed update, which is now subject to a 60-day commentary period, would require 100 percent of an ad to be in view for two seconds before it is deemed as viewable, as opposed to the current 50 percent criteria.

Speaking in the newly released whitepaper, Ben Jankowski, group head, global media, Mastercard, said, “We still need scale and more adoption of connected TV on the part of the general consumer before we can embrace advanced or connected TV in its entirety.

“As smart TVs and non-linear viewing solutions become more prevalent in American households, so too will the inclusion of connected TV ad buys become more common in advertiser’s campaigns.


@ronan_shields ronan.shields@adweek.com Ronan Shields is a programmatic reporter at Adweek, focusing on ad-tech.