07/13/22: Cynopsis Presents: Roku Launches Product Suite To Help Publishers Optimize Shift To Streaming


Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Wednesday July 13, 2022

Dynamic Linear Ads, Data Insights and New OneView Tools Debuting This Summer

Cathy Applefeld Olson

Television, and television advertising, are racing into the streaming realm. Steeped in evolving consumer viewing habits, accelerated by the pandemic and fortified by rapidly changing business models, streaming is wide open to new opportunities for publishers and marketers alike.

Streaming hit an all-time high of nearly 30 percent of television usage this March, according to Nielsen’s Gauge survey of TV consumption by platform. In tandem, the CTV advertising spend surged 57 percent to $15.2 billion in 2021 and is expected to increase an additional 39 percent to $21.2 billion in 2022, according to IAB’s 2021 Video Ad Spend and 2022 Outlook report, in which three of four video buyers surveyed labeled CTV as a “must buy” in their media planning budgets.

While the scenario is promising, the streaming paradigm continues to present a host of challenges for legacy publishers at various stages of the shift. Among them: Navigating a seamless transition to digital; solving for optimal reach extension; determining whether to build, buy or partner on technology; securing the most advantageous data for targeting and measurement; expanding advertiser client base; and maintaining an optimal ad load.

Roku has solutions. With more than 61 million active accounts as of Q1 2022, a growing cache of technology and deep experience delivering on the buy side, the company this summer is expanding its business offerings to publishers with their Dynamic Linear Ads product coupled with a new suite of insights and tools to optimize its OneView ad buying platform.

“We have a history of leadership on the buy side; we’ve been solving those problems for years,” says Adam Royle, Roku’s Head of Publisher Business Development. “Now that we’re at an inflection point for publishers, we’re in a unique position to help publishers solve those problems too and capitalize on the shift to streaming.”

Behind its new solutions suite is team of executives dedicated to helping publishers understand and optimize a converged TV landscape. “Linear television was somewhat easy in that it was just a broadcast solution and everyone was basically doing the same thing,” says Brian Jentz, Roku’s Head of Product, Publisher Solutions. “We have a dedicated team on the ground to help publishers better understand what the solutions are, and the value they can drive.”


The DLA Difference

AMC, Crown, and Warner Bros Discovery have been actively testing Roku’s Dynamic Linear Ads replacement business.

The DLA product, the result of Roku’s own in-house tech coupled with its acquisition of Nielsen’s Advanced Video Advertising business in 2021, enables Roku to replace a publishing partner’s largely untargeted linear ad with a targeted ad that’s expected to command a higher CPM and increase yield. And that, says Royle, is a game-changer.

Unlike other solutions in the marketplace, Roku DLA enables TV programmers to replace traditional TV ads with targeted ads—in real time. The solution provides publishers with the performance and accountability of digital advertising on linear TV, which leads to increased yield without sales channel conflicts or compromised flight delivery metrics for existing advertisers. For instance, an automobile advertiser can swap out a minivan ad for a pickup truck ad, in real time, for a household in market to ultimately serve a more relevant ad experience.

“You need a substantial lift in expertise to make this actionable,” he says. “Historically most TV publishers haven’t had their own in-house ad technology to support streaming which is Roku’s expertise.”

Noting the starting point for many publishers to use dynamic linear ad insertion is for promo and direct response inventory, Royle says, “Outside of primetime, those CPMs are cheaper because you are inferring a demo based on the content they are watching. DLA will increase the value of the impression because it allows the publisher to now understand which household is watching what based on demographic, behavioral, and interest data.


Insights Abound

By now the majority of publishers have apps and CTV activations through which viewers can access their content. Some yield more data than others, and all require expertise not only in parsing the information but in the infrastructure needed to act on it.

Roku is stepping up to provide publishers with insights around a swath of privacy-compliant data points it previously made available only to the buyers. “Data is only as good as what you can do with it,” says Royle. “What’s actionable from one publisher to the next is different, so we’ve been building an insights tool and working with them on what kind of insights they want to see.”

Because streaming is digital in nature, “it generates a huge amount of feedback data. But that’s no good in and of itself,” Jentz says. “We do a lot with figuring out how to use data to better merchandise and monetize our own Roku inventory, and now we’re taking that same knowledge, understanding and tools, and building insights for the publishers whose applications run on Roku.”

A key value proposition for Roku is its active account base of more than 61 million, and the key data it has it has on each of those accounts that can enhance a publisher’s business. “We can use our first-party data and some of our other proprietary data assets to provide insights about who’s watching,” Jentz says. “That helps a publisher because then they know how to better market their inventory to advertisers.”


OneView, Many Solutions

Also new to publishers is a set of tools they can use to interface with Roku’s buying platform, OneView, to advantage their supply as they extend their programming reach and engage with advertisers.

OneView enables publishers to get more granular, which enhances targeting. “Our unique relationship with the user enables targeting, measurement and optimization insights directly in our platform,” says Royle. “And more targeting means higher advertising value, higher CPMs, and higher yield for TV publishers. Simply put, TV publishers can make more money.”

The platform has been a boon for advertisers looking to extend their reach to cord cutters and streaming-only households. “That’s been huge for Roku—advertisers looking to target their advertising to people who haven’t seen their linear TV ads,” Jentz says. OneView is also a turnkey place for publishers to accelerate their programmatic transactions, which are increasingly top of mind for marketers, he adds.

Roku debuted its T-commerce initiative in June via an exclusive partnership with Walmart that enables viewers to purchase products fulfilled by Walmart directly on Roku by simply clicking “OK” on their remote. “The further you push consumers down the sales funnel, the more valuable that is to advertisers because they are closer to actually getting an outcome, a sale, and the more you can enable these lower-funnel opportunities and higher CPMs, the more you can monetize that advertising,” Jentz says.

What’s Ahead

The three offerings Roku is debuting the summer across dynamic linear ads, insights and OneView optimization are just the beginning of what the company has planned for its publisher partners.

In the works are a model through which publishers can use its proprietary data for their own direct sales offers, which would be rolled out through a clean room mechanism. Also on the books is an extension of its burgeoning commerce capabilities beyond buy-side business. “We think there’s a very strong publisher use case there,” Royle says.

“Our publisher solutions are two-fold,” he adds. “There are the three things we can sell today, and then there are longer-term strategic partnership opportunities we are building out in the next 12-18 months.”

To learn more about Roku Publisher Advertising Solutions, please click here

Cynopsis Team

Lynn Leahey
Editorial Director

Kerry Smith
Division President
Access Intelligence

Robbie Caploe
VP/Group Publisher

Executive Director of Sales
Albert Nassour
Cynopsis Job Listings Sales
John Cox


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