Roku Implements Interactive TiVo-esque Advertising

By way of CordCuttersNews, we learn that Roku is now selling interactive advertising widgets against television commercials displayed on Roku televisions (shown above). What makes this somewhat different from TiVo’s historic approach (shown below), and unsettling to some, is that our Roku smart televisions are watching what’s on our screen (since at least 2017) vs the TiVo set-top/cable box that was aware as the content delivery mechanism itself. But the ad overlays don’t strike me as a huge deal.

While Roku freely admits their primary business is advertising, they’ve always done a reasonable job of balancing the user experience against commercial disruption. And, I assume like TiVo, they’ll limit these interactive advertising units to the product/company of the underlying commercial.

6 thoughts on “Roku Implements Interactive TiVo-esque Advertising”

  1. TiVo was too early for most of this stuff (thankfully) and didn’t have the scale. Plus, like so many things, they didn’t execute very well. ;) Pretty sure that NYC office only continued to exist so former CEO Tom Rogers wouldn’t have to fly to California as frequently.

  2. It’s almost like Roku doesn’t want people to watch OTA TV. By doing whatever they can to make it more annoying, they’re shuffling people over to their hamfisted “Roku channel”, where they can presumably show people even more ads.

  3. This is NOTHING like what TiVo is doing. 1) It’s an ad over an ad, as opposed to adding a pre-roll add that I have to watch or fast forward through before watching a DVR program that TiVo might have already removed all the other ads from. 2) Unlike TiVo’s preroll, apparently you can go to settings and opt out of this.

  4. @Scott G. Lewis: I think that Dave is referencing Roku’s current effort as to what TiVo has done *in the past* (not to the current pre-rolls).

  5. Yeah, I didn’t say anything about pre-roll. I linked the TiVo interactive commercial overlays that they pitched companies and pushed down to our boxes for at least a few years back the day. Associated imagery, too. What was annoying about these was they popped up even while fast forwarding. Although they didn’t irk me like the pause screen units which put ads on top of television content

    I gave up digging through the Wayback Machine since it’s so dang slow, but TiVo had all sorts of info on their various ad solutions.

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