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.
About Roku, Inc.
Roku pioneered streaming to the TV. We connect users to the streaming content they love, enable content publishers to build and monetize large audiences, and provide advertisers with unique capabilities to engage consumers. Roku streaming players and TV-related audio devices are available in the U.S. and in select countries through direct retail sales and licensing arrangements with service operators. Roku TV™ models are available in the U.S. and in select countries through licensing arrangements with TV brands. Roku is headquartered in San Jose, Calif. U.S.A.
This press release contains “forward-looking” statements that are based on our beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to us on the date of this press release. Forward-looking statements may involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. These statements include but are not limited to the benefits of the pending acquisition of Nielsen’s AVA business by Roku, the anticipated timing of the closing of the acquisition, the benefits and features of future product or service offerings resulting from the acquisition, entry into the strategic partnership between Roku and Nielsen, the benefits of the strategic partnership between Roku and Nielsen, including the offering of TAR, DAR and DCR on Roku’s platform, and the expansion of DAI to other TV OEMs. Factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those in any forward-looking statement include: the risk that the transaction may not be completed in a timely manner or at all; the risk that the parties will not enter into the strategic partnership; the ability to realize the anticipated benefits of the proposed acquisition and the proposed strategic partnership, including the possibility that the expected benefits from either the proposed acquisition or the proposed strategic partnership will not be realized; the impact of the acquisition on the AVA business; our ability to retain key AVA personnel; our effectiveness in integrating the AVA business and operations with our business; the effectiveness of the strategic partnership between Roku and Nielsen; our ability to realize our broader strategic and operating objectives; the effect of the announcement of the acquisition and the strategic partnership on Roku’s and Nielsen’s respective businesses; and the effects of any litigation or other proceedings to which we are or may become a party.
Further information on these and other risks and uncertainties are included in the reports Roku, Inc. files with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020 and our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Copies of reports filed with the SEC are posted on Roku’s website and are available from Roku without charge. Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements publicly, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.
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Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide. Nielsen is divided into two business units. Nielsen Global Media provides media and advertising industries with unbiased and reliable metrics that create a shared understanding of the industry required for markets to function. Nielsen Global Connect provides consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers with accurate, actionable information and insights and a complete picture of the complex and changing marketplace that companies need to innovate and grow.
Our approach marries proprietary Nielsen data with other data sources to help clients around the world understand what’s happening now, what’s happening next, and how to best act on this knowledge.
An S&P 500 company, Nielsen has operations in over 90 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.
This press release includes information that could constitute forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include those set forth above relating to the anticipated timing of the closing of the transaction as well as those that may be identified by words such as “will,” “intend,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “should,” “could” and similar expressions. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results and events could differ materially from what presently is expected. Factors leading thereto may include, without limitation, the risk that the transaction may not be completed in a timely manner or at all and other specific risk factors that are outlined in our disclosure filings and materials, which you can find on http://www.nielsen.com/investors, such as our 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K reports that have been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Please consult these documents for a more complete understanding of these risks and uncertainties. This list of factors is not intended to be exhaustive. Such forward-looking statements only speak as of the date of this communication, and we assume no obligation to update any written or oral forward-looking statement made by us or on our behalf as a result of new information, future events or other factors, except as required by law.