Roku Offers Audience Guarantees to Advertisers

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Credit: Roku

In Roku's latest effort to attract more traditional TV ad dollars, the company is introducing audience guarantees for advertisers buying commercial inventory on the over-the-top platform. While marketers had previously been able to measure campaigns that ran in streams of shows on Roku, they were unable to buy ad inventory based on the age and sex demographics that are the basis of traditional linear TV.

Roku's guarantees will be based on Nielsen's Digital Ad Ratings and mean that advertisers won't pay for audiences outside their targets, said Scott Rosenberg, senior VP-advertising, Roku.

Roku sells video inventory across a couple of hundred channels available on its platfrom. Ad-supported programming accounts for half of the viewing on the top 250 most-watched channels on Roku, the company said.

"As more consumers watch content on OTT platforms, marketers need to follow the audience," Mr. Rosenberg said. "This will allow them to buy OTT the way they are used to buying traditional video."

"Roku is pushing the industry forward to adopt verification standards for media buying on OTT platforms," Britney Greenhouse, director, Horizon Media, said in a statement. Horizon has been working with Roku to test the audience guarantee product.

Roku previously struck a deal with Magna to let the agency's clients, which include Coca-Cola and BMW, target audiences on the platform using custom data segments created by Magna. The agency also got access to Roku data to better understand the OTT marketplace while planning its media buys. And Roku is allowing Magna to tag all campaigns with Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings to combine viewing on TV and Roku for a more holistic picture.

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