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The streaming platform Roku has agreed to buy Nielsen’s Advanced Video Advertising (AVA) business, part of a strategic effort to grow its video advertising revenues.
Nielsen’s AVA business includes includes the measurement firm’s automatic content recognition (ACR) and dynamic ad insertion (DAI) technologies, and supports addressable advertising efforts, which seek to match marketers with consumers that fit specific targets (i.e. shopping for a new car, expecting a baby, etc) and automatically insert more relevant ads into the programs they are watching.
The deal “will accelerate Roku’s launch of an end-to-end DAI solution with TV programmers,” the company says. At the same time, Roku and Nielsen have struck a deal to integrate Nielsen’s advertising and content measurement products into Roku boxes, allowing for more data and precision around what content and ads Roku users are viewing. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Tens of billions of dollars continue to be spent annually on traditional TV advertising,” said Louqman Parampath, vp of product management at Roku, in a statement announcing the deal. “Combining Nielsen’s AVA technology with Roku’s innovative ad tech and scale will enable us to deliver the benefits of TV streaming advertising to traditional TV. Roku will bring the promise of DAI to the market for the first time ever at scale — providing better targeting and measurement for advertisers, creating easy integration and additional revenue opportunities for programmers’ ad sales teams, and improving the TV experience for viewers.”
While Roku launched as a streaming device maker, it has since focused its investment on advertising, selling ads for media and entertainment companies that use its platform, and on its own platforms like the ad-supported Roku Channel.
The deal with Nielsen suggests that Roku hopes to expand its role as a TV advertising backbone both within its own platform and outside of it, delivering dynamic ads for marketers wherever consumers happen to be watching.
Nielsen, meanwhile, has been trying to sell parts of the company as it streamlines around media measurement. The company sold its global Connect consumer data business last year for $2.7 billion, and sold its Nielsen Music business in late 2019 to MRC (MRC is a co-owner of The Hollywood Reporter through a joint venture with Penske Media titled P-MRC).
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