Roku plans to start showing video ads on your homescreen

Roku has a plan to boost ad revenue. The company will start showing video ads on your homescreen at some point. Roku CEO Anthony Wood told investors during the company’s earnings call last week that the company will put the video ads in the “premier video app we called the Marquee” where static image ads live now.

It sounds like Wood is referring to the box on the homescreen that sits to the right of your Roku apps, which hopefully means the video ads won’t be full-screened. He said the company is also testing out “other types of video ad units” and looking into other ways to “innovate more video advertising” on the homescreen. The company’s push comes after it performed its third layoff in less than a year last September amid a slower ads business, which is its main source of revenue. During the call, Wood also mentioned the new “AI-driven” personalized content row that Roku recently added to the homescreen.

Still, Roku did file the patent equivalent of telling other streaming hardware makers to hold its beer — a plan to use automatic content recognition to tell when you’ve paused the screen on, say, your Apple TV or PS5 and take that opportunity to foist ads on you through HDMI. That’s just a patent filing, of course, and doesn’t mean it’s actually happening. But if it ever does, just remember: anything, even a Roku TV device, can be a Frisbee if you try hard enough.

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