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Roku confirms home screen video ads are coming

Roku’s home screen has become one of the few bastions of peace and quiet on our screens as other streamers pack their apps with video ads, but the free ride will soon come to an end. Roku recently shared its Q1 2024 financial results, and during the earnings call, Roku’s CEO Anthony Wood told investors that video ads are coming to the home screen.

“To give you some examples of the kinds of things we’re looking at on the home screen, on the home screen today, there’s the premier video app we called the Marquee and that traditionally has been a static ad,” Wood said. “We’re going to add video to that ad.”

If you own a Roku TV or streaming player, you’ve probably seen that static ad on the side of the display when you’re on the home screen. Here’s what it looks like:

Roku is bringing video ads to the home screen.Roku is bringing video ads to the home screen. Image source: Roku

In the future, you might see a video ad there instead. We can only hope that it will be muted by default. Wood also added that this will be the first of multiple video ad units on the home screen, and that Roku is now “looking at other experiences we can add to the home screen that would be where we can innovate more video advertising.”

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Ad revenue is hugely important for Roku, so it’s no surprise the company wants valuable video ads littering customers’ screens instead of static images. We do not know when to expect these video ads or precisely what they’ll look like, but when it comes to Roku’s bottom line, the sooner, the better. In the meantime, enjoy the video-free home screen while it lasts.

Notably, Wood did not discuss recent reports about Roku’s patent for technology that would allow it to put ads on the screen any time you press pause. Presumably, home screen video ads are the priority at the moment, but we’ll be keeping an eye out for these.

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