Netflix Rival Roku Buys Nielsen’s Addressable TV Advertising Business

By Adriaan Brits Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Roku, a streaming business company, said it is acquiring Nielsen’s Advanced Video Advertising (AVA) business for an undisclosed fee.

Netflix webpage on a laptop screen.

Accelerating Launch of Dynamic Ad Insertion

Roku and Nielsen, a global measurement and data analytics company, agreed to a deal that will see the former take over the latter’s AVA business. This unit is based on Nielsen’s video automatic content recognition (ACR) and dynamic ad insertion (DAI) technologies.

“Tens of billions of dollars continue to be spent annually on traditional TV advertising. 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,” said Louqman Parampath, VP of Product Management at the streaming company.

The streaming company is hoping that the acquisition will help accelerate the launch of Roku’s end-to-end DAI solution with TV programmers. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of the year.

“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,” adds Parampath.

The partnership between two companies will expand beyond DAI. The streaming business is planning to integrate Nielsen’s “always on” Digital Ad Ratings (DAR) tool into its media sales and ad-buying platform - “OneView.”

With this deal, the data analytics company will be able to further increase the footprint of smart TVs and other connected devices to almost 100 million.

“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,” Scott Brown, General Manager of Audience Measurement business division at the data analytics company, said.

Roku recently announced it is serving 51.2 million active accounts as it managed to add 14.3 million accounts in 2020. The company is expanding aggressively, as seen in a deal to acquire rights for 75+ Quibi shows.

This way, the streaming company has obtained rights to show content featuring Idris Elba, Kevin Hart, Liam Hemsworth, Anna Kendrick, Nicole Richie, Chrissy Teigen, and Lena Waithe.

Roku stock gained 1.5% in pre-market trading following the Nielsen announcement.


Roku is taking over Nielsen’s AVA business as it aims to accelerate the launch of its end-to-end DAI solution with TV programmers.

About the Author

Headshot for author Adriaan Brits
As an analyst of global affairs, Adriaan has an MSC from Oxford, with diverse interests in the digital economy, entertainment, and business. He is a specialist trainer in Advanced Analytics & Media.

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