Roku Bolsters Measurement Program To Track Cross-Screen Ad Performance

Roku said Tuesday it added six new ad tech companies to its Measurement Partner Program to help retail, CPG, pharma, auto and other advertisers better measure ad campaign performance — such as mobile app downloads — as marketers shift their spending to streaming.

Adjust, Affinity Solutions, Branch, IRI, Kochava, and Veeva Crossix have joined Roku’s partner program — launched in 2018 to help the industry measure the impact of ads in streaming TV — a roster that now includes more than 20 partners.

Adding the six new partners lets marketers measure metrics they couldn’t before, including upper-funnel brand metrics and performance outcomes such as mobile app downloads, store visits, and product sales for retail, pharmaceutical, CPG, and auto advertisers.

These measurement partners can be accessed through Roku’s OneView ad buying platform, the dataxu DSP it rebranded in 2020.

“The promise of CTV is of course, that you can measure impressions on a 40- or 55-inch TV screen as you would a digital impression,” Gaurav Shirole, Roku’s director of ad measurement, told AdExchanger. “A lot of the newer partnerships we announced are basically allowing our marketers to go down the funnel to add more behavioral outcomes, whether it's CRM, sales lift or app downloads and installations or location visits or healthcare outcomes.”

The announcement comes ahead of this year’s upfronts, and Roku is working to help partners evaluate their investments, Shirole said, adding that advertising in streaming TV has an impact on outcomes such as store visits, product sales and retail spending.

“In the case of mobile measurement partners like Adjust, Kochava and Branch, advertisers are going to see effects on behaviors like downloading an app to a device,” Shirole said.

The integrations, he added, help prove ads bought on Roku led to actual business results, like app downloads.

Shirole said that the new partners specialize in specific advertising verticals, such as auto or pharma, or have syndicated data integrations.

IRI, for example, provides measurement services for CPG and retail brands, including the grocery chain Kroger. Data platform Veeva Crossix provides data and analytics around medical patients.

“Some of these providers are new and increasingly relevant especially after what we've seen over the last year with the accelerated shift to streaming,” he said. “For some of these folks — Adjust, Kochavas and Branch — suddenly, it makes a lot of sense for even quick service restaurant advertisers to want to know if their campaigns are driving app downloads. That's a new vertical where maybe we didn't have a comprehensive set of outcome-based solutions for those folks.”

Kochava, a mobile app attribution and analytics platform, worked with Roku as part of a beta program to help Discovery successfully track cross-platform ad effectiveness across 11 Discovery streaming services on the Roku platform and found that its campaigns drove positive results. Kochava is plugged into Discovery’s data via its SDK to glean campaign exposure data for Roku partners, which can be combined to show whether the person who viewed the ad took a desired action.

Expanding measurement partners is part of a larger strategy at Roku, which has been beefing up its measurement capabilities recently.

Last month, Roku announced that it will acquire Nielsen’s Advanced Video Advertising business, inheriting capabilities in automatic content recognition (ACR) and dynamic ad insertion (DAI).

The advanced video advertising tech Nielsen is selling to Roku will feed measurement insights into Nielsen’s system. Additionally, Roku will incorporate a battery of Nielsen measurement products into its platform, the data from which Nielsen will also bake into its rebuilt ONE currency.

“For some of our partners that are increasingly looking at the decline of linear TV, our announcement about a strategic partnership with Nielsen is a big deal for them in terms of justifying the reach opportunity that exists in streaming,” Shirole said. “I think we're past the point of knowing that streaming is where you can find audiences and they’re looking for stable and reliable measurement on that front.”

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