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Roku to Acquire Nielsen’s Video Advertising Business for TV Market

Roku March 1 announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Nielsen’s Advanced Video Advertising business, which includes video automatic content recognition and “dynamic” ad insertion technologies. The acquisition will help accelerate Roku’s attempt to offer TV advertisers spots to targeted consumers. In addition, Nielsen and Roku will enter into a strategic partnership to integrate Nielsen’s ad and content measurement products into its platform and further advance Nielsen’s cross-media measurement solution.

“Tens of billions of dollars continue to be spent annually on traditional TV advertising,” Louqman Parampath, VP of product management at Roku, said in a statement. “Combining Nielsen’s technology with [our] ad tech and scale, will enable us to deliver the benefits of TV streaming advertising to [linear] TV.”

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Parampath believes Roku will now be able to sell targeted ads to marketers at scale — creating easier integration and additional revenue opportunities for programmers’ ad sales teams, and improving the TV experience for viewers.

This announcement builds on years of close collaboration between Roku and Nielsen. The two companies will enter into a long-term commercial agreement to leverage Nielsen’s “Total Ad Ratings” software on the Roku platform. Specifically, Roku’s media sales and ad-buying platform, OneView, will integrate Nielsen “always on” Digital Ad Ratings for advertisers. Roku will also enable publishers to implement Nielsen Digital Content Ratings.

“The measurement of ads and content on Roku devices will accelerate the path to a single, deduplicated cross-media currency,” said Scott N. Brown, GM of audience measurement at Nielsen. “As Roku brings the power of dynamic ad insertion to all forms of TV, we’re excited to help monetize the addressable market by measuring smart TV as a currency, which Nielsen can do at scale.”

The collaboration with Roku will substantially expand the footprint of smart TVs and other devices, nearing 100 million in total, in which Nielsen can enable media sellers and buyers to measure and better monetize addressable advertising.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions. Roku, the fourth-largest branded TV seller in the U.S.,  said its models already include automatic content recognition, and will include dynamic ad insertion in the near future.

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