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Roku launches streaming-first advertising platform Roku Exchange

A promotional slate for Roku Exchange
(Courtesy image)

Streaming hardware and services company Roku has launched a streaming-first advertising technology solution that aims to connect digital ad inventory with demand from buyers.

The platform, called Roku Exchange, “ensures a direct path between premium ad inventory and the leading programmatic ecosystem in the industry to deliver greater effectiveness for our clients,” a company spokesperson said on Wednesday.

“Combining Roku’s premium advertising supply with identity data and AI-driven optimization capabilities, advertisers will be able to maximize the performance of their campaigns, and the process of buying Roku Media and TV streaming ad placements will be accessible to more buyers,” the spokesperson said.

In Roku’s view, effective exchanges between supply and demand require a tech-forward solution that “leverages unique data with flexibility and control.” Roku Exchange aims to provide this by connecting ad buyers with supply integrations, fair auctions and ad decisioning solutions, which is integrated with the Magnite supply-side platform to “connect into the larger programmatic landscape.”

“Roku Exchange is the mediation layer that serves ads and enriches impressions, based on Roku data from over tens of millions of streaming households,” Louqman Parampath, the Vice President of Product Management at Roku, said in a statement. “Engagement on the Roku platform represents around 50 percent of all time spent watching TV streaming in the U.S. Democratizing access to Roku Media, which includes video and native ad formats across the ecosystem for all demand-side partners, brings better results for advertisers while also keeping the consumer’s experience best in class.”

Roku says demand-side platforms like The Trade Desk and Yahoo DSP can benefit from the “customization of programmatic signals Roku Exchange can send to drive Roku Media success on their platforms.” That customization allows buyers to reach streaming-first consumers across a number of platforms, utilizing things like mobile app downloads via Wurl, business-to-business customers through LinkedIn Campaign Manager, and local targets through Madhive.

“Roku Exchange provides robust ad signal availability, enabling us to better connect our audiences and buying strategies across all platforms with Roku Media,” Sam Bloom, the head of partnerships at PMG, said in a statement. “This enhances our client’s performance significantly. We are consistently impressed by Roku’s innovative capabilities in ad technology.”

The launch of Roku Exchange comes at a time when the company is increasingly focused on its advertising based business, which is one element of its platform sector. With sales of its hardware devices starting to slow, Roku is embracing the idea that advertising and transactions are becoming a bigger driver of revenue.

During the first three months of the year, Roku earned $754.9 million in platform revenue, most of which came from advertising sold against its free, ad-supported streaming service The Roku Channel and display ads that appear on the home screen of Roku devices and smart TVs. Overall, Roku brought in $882 million in revenue during Q1 2024, up 19 percent on a year-over basis. As of March, the company had around 81.6 million global monthly active users.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.

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