Roku, Inc. (NASDAQ: ROKU) and Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN) today announced a strategic alliance between the two companies that will help shape the future of media measurement and TV advertising in a streaming-first market. Roku has entered into an agreement to acquire Nielsen’s Advanced Video Advertising (AVA) business, which includes Nielsen’s video automatic content recognition (ACR) and dynamic ad insertion (DAI) technologies. The acquisition will accelerate Roku’s launch of an end-to-end DAI solution with TV programmers. In addition, Nielsen and Roku will enter into a strategic partnership to integrate complementary Nielsen ad and content measurement products into the Roku platform and further advance Nielsen ONE, the company’s cross-media measurement solution.
“Tens of billions of dollars continue to be spent annually on traditional TV advertising,” said Louqman Parampath, VP of Product Management at Roku. “Combining Nielsen’s AVA technology with Roku’s innovative ad tech and scale will enable us to deliver the benefits of TV streaming advertising to traditional TV. Roku will bring the promise of DAI to the market for the first time ever at scale — providing better targeting and measurement for advertisers, creating easy integration and additional revenue opportunities for programmers’ ad sales teams, and improving the TV experience for viewers. We’re also excited to become a key strategic partner for Nielsen in their new cross-media measurement products, and jointly drive toward greater transparency and accuracy in TV streaming measurement.”
This announcement builds on years of close collaboration between Roku and Nielsen. The two companies will enter into a long-term commercial agreement to leverage Total Ad Ratings (TAR) on the Roku platform. Specifically, Roku’s media sales and ad-buying platform, OneView, will natively integrate Nielsen “always on” Digital Ad Ratings (DAR) for advertisers. Roku will also enable publishers to implement Nielsen Digital Content Ratings (DCR).
“The measurement of ads and content on Roku devices will accelerate the path to a single, deduplicated cross-media currency,” Scott N. Brown, GM, Audience Measurement, Nielsen. “As Roku brings the power of dynamic ad insertion to all forms of TV, we’re excited to help monetize the addressable market by measuring smart TV as a currency, which Nielsen can do at scale.”
The collaboration with Roku will substantially expand the footprint of smart TVs and other devices, nearing 100 million in total, in which Nielsen can enable media sellers and buyers to measure and better monetize addressable advertising.
The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions. Upon closing, Roku looks forward to welcoming Nielsen AVA employees and taking ownership of an extensive portfolio of foundational ACR and DAI patents. Roku TV models, which are powered by the No. 1 selling TV OS in the U.S. in 2020, already include ACR today, and will include DAI in the near future.