Roku launches Branded Content material Studio as a NewFronts method

Diving letter:

  • Roku is launching a branded content studio today to expand its range of advertising formats and TV programming for marketers. This is evident from an announcement sent to Marketing Dive via email. The studio will create short-form television programming, interactive video ads, and other branded content on The Roku Channel, the company’s advertising-based video-on-demand (AVOD) hub.
  • The company’s new studio will build on its existing offerings, which include sponsorship and native advertising. Examples of recent campaigns include Roku’s partnership with Intuit’s TurboTax software in a “college basketball captain” during March Madness. Roku users will be able to unlock free college basketball content and an Augmented Reality (AR) lens on their connected devices, according to the announcement.
  • Several employees from the branded entertainment division of content studio Funny Or Die will join Roku under an agreement between the companies. Chris Bruss and Brian Toombs from Funny Or Die and Rachel Daly Helfman from the social media company Snap will take on leadership roles at the brand studio alongside Patrick Colletto from Roku. Kroger, Lyft, Ralph Lauren, and Wendy’s are among the companies that have worked with Roku’s new hire on branded content campaigns.

Dive Insight:

Roku launches a content studio to help marketers create branded experiences that stand out in a crowded advertising landscape. The average consumer is expected to see thousands of ads daily, challenging marketers to drive awareness and purchase intent. Brand experiences in addition to video advertising generate four times the purchase intention as video advertising alone. This emerges from data cited in a 2020 report by Magna, Roku, and IPG Media Lab. The study also found that 61% of streaming viewers who reported interacting with a branded experience were more likely to notice the ad.

“The move to streaming TV has accelerated and leading advertisers are moving beyond the 30-second ad,” said Dan Robbins, vice president of ad marketing at Roku, in the announcement. Roku plans to provide more details about the Branded Content Studio at its IAB NewFronts presentation on May 3rd.

Roku’s rollout of a branded content studio comes as the company expands its user base, diversifies revenue streams, and adds original content to the Roku channel. Amid the trend in cable cutting, Roku’s active accounts grew 39% year over year to 51.2 million by the end of 2020, according to a quarterly earnings report. Revenue for the advertising platform business increased 82% to $ 471.2 million during the period. Roku estimated that ad spend will continue to rise after strength in the fourth quarter as the six largest agency holding companies more than doubled their spending on Roku and expanded their exposure to pre-sales in 2021.

Roku has also touted its strength against linear television, where the average age of viewers on the three major broadcast networks is over 60, partly because younger viewers are choosing to stream services. In an effort to expand its original programming on the Roku channel, the company agreed last month to acquire the rights to content from Quibi, the mobile video service that launched and closed last year.

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