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Roku will replace traditional TV commercials with targeted ads

Published Apr 7th, 2022 2:04PM EDT
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Image: Roku

Before too long, it will be virtually impossible to escape targeted ads. To that point, Roku is launching a linear ad beta program this week which will allow advertisers to serve targeted ads in real time. Dynamic linear ads have become increasingly common as internet TV has grown in popularity. It was only a matter of time before Roku jumped in.

Adweek reports that AMC Networks, Crown Media, Paramount, and Discovery have already signed on. In the coming months, all publishers will be able to join.

Roku is bringing more targeted ads to your TV

Last March, Roku acquired Nielsen’s Advanced Video Advertising business. That acquisition included both Nielsen’s automatic content recognition (ACR) and dynamic ad insertion (DAI) technologies. Roku said that the end goal was to launch an end-to-end DAI solution with TV programmers and further integrate Nielsen products into the Roku platform.

Roku said that it wanted to let programmers “replace traditional TV ads with targeted ads in real-time.” This would allow marketers to improve their ROI. 

Here’s what Louqman Parampath, Roku’s VP of Product Management and Advertising, told Adweek in regards to the beta program this week:

They effectively have access to a suite of addressable products, which give them more control of their linear ad inventory, ultimately providing a better and more relevant ad experience to the consumer. From an advertiser perspective, the ability to do targeted ads on linear TV commercials is something that’s not possible on linear TV by and large today. This is a way for them to actually look at getting higher return on ad investment for their media budgets.

Parampath explained that this will be beneficial to both the advertisers and consumers. Not only will the advertisers be able to target specific consumers, but those same consumers will “get more relevant, targeted and timely ads.” This is how the media companies can afford to offer free, ad-supported TV services like The Roku Channel.

Roku’s busy week

This is just one of a few bombshells that Roku dropped this week. On Monday, Roku reached a multi-year extension for its distribution agreement with Amazon. As a result, Roku users will still be able to access the Prime Video and IMDb TV apps going forward.

And then on Tuesday, the company added 16 new linear channels to The Roku Channel. Here’s a full list, in case you missed the announcement:

  • AsianCrush
  • Caught in Providence
  • Cinevault Classics
  • Deal Zone
  • FilmRise Anime, FilmRise Black TV, FilmRise British TV
  • Homeful
  • Kartoon Channel!
  • LIV TV
  • NEW KMOVIES
  • OnDemand China
  • Perform
  • Strawberry Shortcake
  • The Dick Van Dyke Show
  • Torque

As with all of the other live channels on The Roku Channel, these additions are free to stream. Roku says that its free, ad-supported TV service now has over 275 live channels. You can access The Roku Channel from any supported Roku device or from your browser at TheRokuChannel.com. Also, if you own a Roku, be on the lookout for Roku OS 11.


More Roku coverage: For even more Roku news, visit our Roku guide.

Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.