Tech

Roku is looking for a new ad agency to help position it as the king of streaming

  • Roku is looking for a new ad agency to handle its business for the first time in several years.
  • Roku plans to run its largest-ever advertising campaign in the fall.
  • The campaign will attempt to position Roku as the dominant streaming brand, a source said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Streaming video giant Roku is looking for a new ad agency to run its largest-ever marketing campaign, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

The campaign, set to run in the fall, will aim to position the company as the dominant brand in streaming video products such as smart TVs as it battles tech giants like Amazon, Apple, and Google for a larger share of both consumer dollars and ad revenue.

Roku sent requests for information to a group of ad agencies earlier this month, the person said. The company, which is running the search internally rather than working with an outside consulting firm, will later choose a group of agencies to compete for its business.

At this time it is unclear which agencies received the invite. The person said the RFI implied that the winner could ultimately sign an extended contract with Roku that goes beyond the fall campaign.

A Roku spokeswoman declined to comment.

Roku’s past ad budgets have been limited. According to market research firm Kantar, the company spent around $5.2 million on paid advertising last year, excluding social media. 

Its last ad agency searches came in 2013 and 2014.

According to data from research firm NPD Group released by Roku in January, the company controls 38% of the US smart TV market. Roku’s large footprint is primarily derived from partnerships with companies like Hitachi, Philips, and China’s TCL, which sell Roku-powered smart TVs.

The company has long prioritized growth but reported a surprise profit in the final quarter of 2020. Its share price has also increased nearly 2,000% since its 2017 IPO, peaking in February 2021 at just over $467.

Roku recently expanded its advertising business by updating its self-serve ad-buying tools, acquiring Nielsen’s Advanced Video Advertising measurement unit and launching a brand studio to help advertisers create custom video ads. It also plans to produce original shows and movies after buying Quibi’s content library in January.

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