Roku announced the company is launching its first-ever ‘Stream-a-thon’ from December 26 to January 1, allowing users to stream a collection of shows and movies for free. Roku will give the gift of complete seasons and movies from networks such as HGTV, Food Network and Discovery within the “Featured Free” section.
“The holidays are the perfect time for new and avid streamers alike to discover, enjoy and share in full seasons of top shows for free,” said Roku chief marketing officer, Matthew Anderson.
“…As the leading platform for streaming free content, the Stream-a-thon is a great way to thank our customers. We’re delighted with the quality of shows and to be working in partnership with some of the biggest and best providers across television,” added Anderson.
Roku has always been focused on selling advertising, from the branded direct buttons on the controller to banner ads on the homepage. But in recent years the company has gone full force into programmatic and direct advertising. Earlier this year, the company announced for the first time advertising, as opposed to devices sales, made the bulk of their revenue YoY.
In June, Roku created an audience marketplace for buyers and sellers, and can be used programmatically or traditional methods of direct selling. It more effectively targets audiences by leveraging Roku’s first-party data and proprietary ad technology. Roku has extensive insights into its millions of OTT streamers and can precisely target specific segments at a household level.
Advertisers can take advantage of it through programmatic or traditional direct selling methods. Viacom, AT&T’s WarnerMedia and 21st Century Fox are a few of the initial networks that signed on to sell TV ad inventory in the audience marketplace.
Roku’s ‘Featured Free’ navigation section came along in August in order to provide customers with an easy way to find free streaming entertainment. Stream-a-thon is seemingly an extension of that service.
Both provide advertising and help’s Roku push users to download different network apps and possibly drive a conversion for that network, creating a new subscriber. Viewers will also be served with ads along the way. Stream-a-thon is another step in the tenets Roku is building its future on, and one wherein consumers reap the benefits.
“Data-driven selling [and] programmatic-based techniques are, in our opinion, a central component of the future of the way TV advertising is going to be traded,” CFO Steve Louden said in August, during the company’s Q2 earnings call with investors.
“From the very beginning, our goal with advertising at Roku has been to elevate [and] evolve the state of advertising—to make TV advertising natively targetable, interactive [and] much more highly measured like any digital media that a modern marketer expects.”
AList reached out to Roku for comment but have not heard back at time of publishing.