Roku to Acquire Video Ad Platform dataxu for $150 Million

Roku CEO Anthony Wood

"TV advertising is shifting toward OTT and a data-driven model focused on business outcomes for brands," says Roku CEO Anthony Wood.

Streaming media firm Roku said Tuesday that it has agreed to acquire Boston-based dataxu, a video advertising platform that enables marketers to plan and buy campaigns, for $150 million in cash and stock.

"TV advertising is shifting toward OTT and a data-driven model focused on business outcomes for brands," said Anthony Wood, CEO of Roku. "The acquisition of dataxu will accelerate our ad platform while also helping our content partners monetize their inventory even more effectively."

The acquisition "will complement Roku’s industry-leading OTT advertising platform and enable Roku to provide marketers a single, data-driven software solution to plan, buy, and optimize their ad spend across TV and OTT providers," the company said. "dataxu brings an experienced team — including strong talent in software engineering, data science and analytics — to work with new and existing marketers on Roku’s proven advertising platform."

Roku streams more ad-supported hours than any other streaming platform, according to a June comScore analysis. With more than 30.5 million active accounts as of June 30, the firm has been looking to grow its offerings of OTT ad services.

Dataxu provides marketers with an automated bidding and self-serve software solution to manage their ad campaigns programmatically across various digital platforms. It also advanced TV and OTT media planning tools.

"Advertisers today spend more than $70 billion on traditional TV. According to Magna Global, OTT accounts for 29 percent of TV viewing, but so far has only captured 3 percent of TV ad budgets," Roku said in its deal announcement. "As viewers continue to migrate to streaming, automated media buying solutions are expected to unlock more advertising investment into OTT."

The acquisition has been approved by both companies' boards and is expected to close later this quarter, subject to such closing conditions as regulatory approvals.