Roku looks to bring Shopify merchants to connected TV

roku looks to bring shopify merchants to connected tv

Roku is looking to bring Shopify merchants to connected TV. The streaming provider is rolling out a new app that will allow Shopify merchants to build, buy, and measure streaming TV advertising campaigns.

To do this, Shopify users will need to add the Roku app from the Shopify App Store, select their audience, choose their campaign budget, timing, and duration, and upload creative. The app will be available in the coming weeks ahead of the holiday season, says Jared Lefkowitz, senior director of ad revenue strategy, Roku. 

In this way, Roku is looking to attract new advertisers that typically may not buy TV ads due to pricing constraints and other restrictions. 

Roku’s Shopify store app will enable Shopify merchants of any size to easily create TV advertising campaigns using precise audiences and measurement throughout their marketing funnel. Merchants testing out the Roku app include Birthdate Co, which makes candles and books based on customers’ birthdays; Jambys, a loungewear company; Moon Pod, an ergonomic adult bean bag chair; and OLIPOP prebiotic soda.

The partnership will allow small- and medium-sized businesses to directly plug into CTV advertising, cutting out the need for media agencies, or spending allocating a large budget to upfront ad dollars.

“We know TV isn’t for every brand, but for many SMBs, it can be a game changer,” says Leftkowitz.

The move also helps Roku deepen its pool of possible advertisers. “This is an expansion move for Roku,” says Leftkowitz. “But it doesn’t change our commitment to Fortune 500 brands.”

Amid pandemic lockdowns streaming providers saw an influx of subscribers, which in turn, brought in new advertising budgets. Roku has taken steps this year to up its ad offerings. Back in March, Roku bought Nielsen’s Advanced Video Advertising business to strengthen measurement, and rolled out the Roku Measurement Partner Program, which relies on ad measurement companies like Adjust and Kantar to help advertisers determine the reach and impact of their campaigns. It also launched its own ad studio to help brands create ads specifically for streaming.

Lefkowitz says that the ads from Shopify’s merchants will appear in 15- and 30-second ad slots within premium content, including the Roku Channel. He also says that Roku will be consulting with SMBs on how to make commercials for the platform, and provide tutorials on how to make the most of Roku’s advertising. “Self-serve doesn’t mean hands-off,” he says.

Roku reported just over 55 million active customer accounts in its second quarter, with users streaming 17.4 billion hours of content. Shopify has an estimated 1.7 million merchants.