• Roku acquires Dataxu in $150 million deal
  • Merger to “complement Roku’s industry-leading OTT ad platform”
  • Third ad-tech M&A deal this week

roku (jejim shutterstock)

Roku: Streamer acquires Dataxu

Source: jejim / Shutterstock

Roku has acquired Dataxu in a $150 million deal to accelerate its ad platform and help content partners monetise their inventory. 

Demand-side platform (DSP) Dataxu was founded in 2009 “to bring the power of data science to the art of marketing,” with the aim to innovate and build a demand-side platform (DSP) to automate campaign management with machine learning (ML) technology to optimise ROI.

Roku’s acquisition of the firm was approved by both company’s board of directions and is expected to close in Q4 of this year, pending regulatory approval.

The transaction is valued at $150 million in cash and shares of Roku Class A common stock.

In a statement, Roku said: “The acquisition of Dataxu’s platform wirokull complement Roku’s industry-leading OTT advertising platform and enable Roku to provide marketers a single, data-driven software solution to plan, buy, and optimise their ad spend across TV and OTT providers.

“Dataxu brings an experienced team – including strong talent in software engineering, data science and analytics – to work with new and existing marketers on Roku’s proven advertising platform.”

Roku is rated the US’s leading TV streaming platform based on hours streamed, with more ad-supported hours than any other OTT platform, according to a June 2019 comScore analysis.

It boasts more than 30.5 million active accounts as of 30 June 2019, a direct consumer relationship, proprietary data and inventory, and advertising technology built directly into its operating system, Roku claims it is a top OTT ad solutions provider to Ad Age Top 200 marketers.

Its acquisition of Dataxu aims to provide marketers with an automated bidding and self-serve software solution to manage ad campaigns programmatically across digital platforms.

Dataxu utilises advanced TV and OTT media planning tools, a proprietary device graph, and data science to help marketers optimise for business outcomes across TV, OTT, desktop and mobile.

Roku chief executive Antony Wood said: “TV advertising is shifting toward OTT and a data-driven model focused on business outcomes for brands.

“The acquisition of Dataxu will accelerate our ad platform while also helping our content partners monetise their inventory even more effectively.”

Advertisers today spend more than $70 billion dollars on traditional TV, according to Magna Global, OTT accounts for 29% of TV viewing but so far has only captured 3% of TV ad budgets. As viewers continue to migrate to streaming, automated media buying solutions are expected to unlock more advertising investment into OTT.

Ad Week reported the acquisition is the third M&A deal this week; yesterday, Rubicon Project announced it buying RTK.io for $11 million, a deal unveiled just days after Adweek revealed that AT&T-owned Xandr is to purchase Clypd.