Roku wants to stream ads through HDMI port during breaks

roku remote control for smart tv
Credit: Roku

roku remote control for smart tv
Credit: Roku

Streaming TV giant Roku may be preparing to enable its smart TVs to play ads when you pause a game or go to make a cup of tea.

Based on a patent filed on behalf of Roku with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the company wants to use the signals that pass through your Roku TV’s HDMI port and image and audio recognition technology to serve you ads.

Put simply, Roku will try to determine what you like, and when the opportunity presents itself, it will display an advert.

After seeing success selling advertising opportunities on its screensaver last year, Roku may be on the right track to make some serious revenue with this latest idea.

roku want to stream ads
expand image

Roku's efforts to maximise ad sales shouldn't come as a surprise. While Roku has a reputation as a manufacturer and seller of TVs designed for streaming content, advertising is the primary source of revenue for the US-based streaming giant.

When Roku introduced sponsorships for its screensaver last May, it attracted the attention of major brands like McDonalds and Walmart. These giant corporations recognise the value of advertising on Roku's platform and the potential to reach a large and engaged audience through Roku's advertising channels.

Roku's smart TVs and streaming devices provide access to popular content platforms like Tubi, Disney+, Netflix, and Hulu. However, Roku also operates its own Roku Channel, which hosts media and serves ads from its partners. These ad partners include the same streaming platforms on Roku's main menu, making the Roku Channel a central part of the company's advertising strategy.

Currently, Roku TVs can't serve ads when you use them to display third-party devices such as PCs and consoles. This 'feature' represents lost advertising revenue for Roku, which may be the primary motivation for this patent filing.

Roku’s earnings report for 2023 indicates that the company earned $1.6 billion from advertising revenues and recorded losses of $44 million selling smart TVs and streaming devices in the same year.

This Article's Topics

Explore new topics and discover content that's right for you!