Roku offers Nielsen ratings in mile marker for OTT advertisers

Jim Lombard

The advancement of Roku’s video ad platform capabilities have reached a mile marker with the company becoming the first OTT platform to offer demographic guarantees based to advertisers on Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings.

"As we drift away from linear television our data allows for advertisers to transact the same way as they would with measurements in the linear space in the OTT space. This is very big for us – with both comScore and Neilsen data available – we can help advertisers reach audiences on its 300-plus channels,” said Jim Lombard, head of advertising sales in an interview with Beet TV yesterday during the 2017 Transformation conference of the 4A’s. “I believe that in future all television is going to be streamed and with that all the ads will be streamed.”

Over the past two years, Roku has moved from the audience measurement system to audience guarantees, particularly since they are becoming more popular with linear TV buys. He notes Roku works predominately with video advertisers and they do a lot of custom programs and custom sponsorship.

Lombard believes that focusing on distribution and measurement has been a key area of success for the company. While advertising on Roku is predominantly video-based, it also offers custom content. Lombard cites the example of Showtime’s Billions, which was offered on Roku before linear TV "free to consumers, courtesy of Audi.”

“We work closely on tune ins. Television is alive and well with a great ecosystem of content. The opt for advertisers means they can now use intelligent data. There used to be Netflix, which was a gateway drug to OTT. We believe that all television will be streamed, and with that all ads will be streamed.”

“Essentially, what we’ve done is Roku registration data is matched with a third-party vendor,” Lombard explains. “The metadata is passed through in the ad call, and then Nielsen uses their measurement tool to be able to verify age and demo against that ad call.”

One of the ways Roku has differentiated itself is that its technology enables its channel partners to do targeting, measurement and interactivity. The company also has its own sales team that sells and monetizes inventory across more than 300 channels.

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