For Roku, selling hardware isn’t enough. The brains behind a series of popular streaming media players, Roku is rolling out interactive advertising content targeted at its viewers. The ads will be deployed in partnership with a startup called Innovid, as part of an ongoing strategy to monetize Roku’s constant stream of viewer data.
The interactive advertisements–which include games, quizzes, and virtual store tours–debuted on Roku last month, but TechCrunch reports that the two companies only made a formal announcement this week. Roku’s new ads will soon be viewable on channels such as CBS, Vevo, and Crackle.
Innovid, an Israeli company that lets agencies and marketers track ad campaigns across platforms, raised $10 million from Cisco this year. Its technology will be integrated into Roku’s toolkit for channel creators and is expected to roll out to dozens of other Roku channels. Advertisers using Innovid’s platform include Chrysler, Kraft, McDonald’s, and Best Buy.
Roku has been emphasizing advertising development in part to fend off the advances of Apple TV and Google’s Chromecast. In late April, Roku launched a partnership with Nielsen to measure viewership and metrics on in-Roku advertising. Although Netflix and Amazon Instant Video remain advertising-free, a host of other popular channels (including Hulu) show advertising to Roku users.
According to TechCrunch, Roku and Innovid are also working on multiplatform ads that beam content to smartphones from the set-top boxes, like showtimes or movie tickets.