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Roku Offering Upfront Buyers Two-Day Cancellation Option

(Image credit: Roku)

Roku, looking to make a bigger splash in this year’s upfront, plans to tell media buyers that they will be able to cancel upfront commitments with just 48 hours notice, giving them additional flexibility in still-uncertain times.

Roku will be leading off next week’s NewFront presentations. It said that with more people cutting the cord, buyers should be planning with streaming in general, and with Roku first as the top ad supported streaming TV platform.

In last year’s upfront, buyers and advertisers were looking for additional flexibility before making spending commitments in the upfront market, given the economic uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also read: YouTube TV Gets Dropped From Roku Channel Store 

Most TV networks granted clients some relief for some of their buys, but Roku offered 14 day cancellations 100% of their commitments.

“We’re going to go even further this year and we’re offering two-day options,” Julian Mintz, National Brand Sales Lead at Roku, told B+C

“So in real time you’re going to have complete flexibility to move dollars around. It’s part of a larger trend of really listening to [clients’] needs and wanting to meet them where they are,” he said.

Based on early negotiations, Mintz is expecting advertisers to spend roughly 20% to 30% more of their budgets on streaming this year. 

“We think upfront marketers this year are now buying TV just like they watch TV. That's with streaming first,” he said. 

For the NewFronts, Roku’s slogan is “TV starts here.”

Roku already works with 90% of the top 200 TV ad spenders and last year did upfront deals with the six major ad agency holding companies, who doubled their investment in Roku over the previous year.

At its upfront Roku will also be talking about expanded  measurement capabilities and new content. 

The company has expanded its Measurement Partners Program to include Nielsen. Roku made a deal to buy Nielsen addressable advertising business and exchange viewership data.

Roku has been offering to guarantee direct-sold ad buys based on Nielsen’s Digital Ad Ratings. Now it will offer that guarantee to programmatic buyers, said Mintz.

The streamer will also be showing off its new Roku Originals brand, which starts with the content it bought from Quibi.

Jon Lafayette
Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.