Facebook gradually moving into TV advertising with Apple TV and Roku TV ads

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Facebook is expanding its Audience Network advertising tool to sell ads on connected streaming devices, starting with Apple TV and Roku TV apps.

The move will see the company deliver video ads that run on apps available on the set-top boxes in partnership with publishers A&E and Tubi TV, Recode reports.

The company already produces ads for third-party mobile apps, and websites via its Audience Network tool. In return for their cash, publishers get the audience insights only a web giant like Facebook (or Google) can provide, resulting in targeted ads that the company claims are more relevant to users’ interests.

The same will go for apps on set-top boxes — which already serve up ads — whose developers likely crave the targeting options Facebook offers.

“We are testing how to best deliver video ads through Audience Network to people watching content on connected TVs,” said a Facebook spokesperson. “Our goal is to bring relevant ad experiences to people both on Facebook and off.”

For now, Facebook’s budding strategy remains limited to delivering in-house ads (such as its recent Facebook Live campaign) and ads from its nonprofit partners. The bigger picture could eventually see the company utilizing an Apple TV or Roku TV viewer’s IP address to determine whether they, and their family, are also on Facebook. Theoretically, it would then be able to serve them the same type of personalized ads. Jumping into the set-top box space early could also see Facebook become a dominant advertising force in the sector.

Despite beating expectations to post another impressive quarter of growth, Facebook’s recent results saw its stock value tumble on the back of its prediction that ad growth was set to slow next year. A massive 84 percent of Facebook’s $7.01 billion in third quarter revenue was generated by mobile ads, but the company feels it risks saturating its product with promotional content if it continues on the same course. Additional sources of ad revenue, such as set-top boxes (and maybe even traditional television), could help ease concerns and result in the company continuing to reap rewards.


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