In Roku’s last quarter, the company posted better-than-expected revenue of $741 million, but alarmed investors with its warning of an uncertain ad market and declining average revenue per user. Today at the IAB NewFronts, the streaming media company introduced its latest advertising products to at least potentially help it address the latter. These include new opportunities to advertise on the Roku home screen, within the original content, and even in the screensaver. It also hyped using contextual AI to automatically display ads right next to the most relevant moments in shows and movies on The Roku Channel.
The company explained that its new artificial intelligence capabilities search the Roku library for “iconic plot moments” that match a brand’s message and place their ads in real time. To work, marketers will first tell Roku the theme of their campaign. The AI searches the library to match the campaign to key moments. For example, if Tim Gunn says “make it work” in “Project Runway,” a clothing brand can insert his message.
Roku also announced a new series of Roku Originals, including an entrepreneurship docuseries, “Side Hustlers,” produced by Hello Sunshine — Reese Witherspoon’s media company that sold for $900 million in 2021 to Candle Media, the company run by former Disney execs Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs, who now has his hand in numerous pies in the streaming landscape. Digital bank Ally was also involved in this production that focuses on people who make their secondary profession their main activity.
Other new Originals coming this year include “Celebrity Family Cook Off,” an executive producer of the series produced by Sofia Vergara and hosted by Manolo Gonzalez Vergara, and “Carpe DM with Juanpa,” which stars social media star Juanpa, among others. Zurita. Roku said it’s also a revamp of “The Great American Baking Show,” starring Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, Ellie Kemper, and Zach Cherry, and “Honest Renovations,” starring Jessica Alba and Lizzy Mathis.
The company claimed that the originals were deliver better than cable, And even better than broadcast public every day.
The streaming company also used its time to pitch marketers on how to reach the now 71.6 million active accounts on their service through new ad products and placements.
The pitch, delivered by Roku Media president Charlie Collier, praised Roku’s reach in the US
“Americans spend more time on Roku than any other TV platform, which means they spend more time here streaming Netflix and Hulu and Disney+ and even more time streaming CBS, NBC ABC and Fox,” Collier said. to the public. “Think about this: 50% of all Super Bowl streaming this year was on Roku,” he added.
At the event, Roku shared some of its latest ad deals. It noted that its “Roku City” screensaver, which floats a cityscape on the TV screen while the TV is idle, will open up to brands. While previously the city screensaver pointed users to suggested content to stream, it can now display other brands as well. This summer, for example, the McDonald’s brand will be used as part of the artwork as the first brand partner in the new advertising offering. The screensaver is used by nearly 40 million households, Roku said.
The company also introduced new discovery experiences that allow brands to host content in areas such as Home & Garden and Sports Experiences that curate TV content on the Roku home screen. Now when users turn to Roku search, they may see a featured collection that was “presented by” an advertising partner – for example, Walmart was shown “presenting” the Home & Garden collection.
Roku also shared that Instacart was its latest Commerce+ partner, joining others like Walmart, Best Buy, Cox Automotive, DoorDash, Kroger and more on its shoppable ads and other retailer-focused initiatives.
Commerce+ is designed to shorten the purchase path for consumers, Roku explains.
For example, Wendy’s offered Roku users a $5 discount powered by DoorDash through a home screen ad, then used DoorDash data to measure the impact of their ad spend. The campaign grew Wendy’s order size primarily among new and lapsed users and delivered many times a positive return on investment, the company said.
In other news for marketers was Roku’s introduction of a Primetime Reach Guarantee, which it claimed was a “first” in streaming. Essentially, the warranty commits to brands they can range more TV households in rush hour than the average program airing on a top-five cable channel on traditional TV.
“We’re uniquely positioned to make brands indispensable on TV because Roku isn’t fighting for turf in streaming — we’re the turf,” said Alison Levin, Roku’s vice president of ad revenue and marketing solutions, in a press release. “We’re bringing the full power of the platform, not just the bits, to give marketers more of the scale, fun and flexibility they love in TV.”