Roku was the first streaming video player to host a virtual NewFront on Monday, leading off the online-only event that is set to run through this week by highlighting a new premium advertising tier called Roku Reserve—which, it claims, offers brands assurances that their commercials will run in only top-shelf video programs.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau puts on the NewFront showcase every year as a digital answer to the TV upfronts, which is when traditional broadcasters present their programming to brands. The NewFronts are for the increasingly popular internet video companies like Roku, YouTube and Hulu to make their best pitch to brands.
Roku's presentation was started streaming at noon on Monday to promote new offerings like Roku Reserve. “We’ve gone deep into the data to identify the channels on Roku that attract the most clicks, the most visits and the most streaming hours,” a Roku spokeswoman said in an email to Ad Age, ahead of the NewFront. “Only available in the Upfront, Roku Reserve allows advertisers to buy the top 1 percent of channels on our platform with all the proven benefits of audience data.”
Roku Reserve gives the company a product that can go head-to-head with offerings like YouTube Select and Facebook Reserve. Google owns YouTube and YouTube Select also gives brands assurances that ads will only appear in the upper echelon of content. Facebook Reserve makes the same commitment for the social network.