You can run but not hide: Roku to begin rolling out interactive ads on certain channels

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Most of us have come to expect ads as a part of the television viewing experience, whether we like it or not. Given the chance, we’ll skip them when we can. Otherwise, we’ll probably ignore them. Now Roku is teaming up with video advertising provider Innovid to try to get us to pay attention.

How? By adding interactivity to the ads, TechCrunch reports. Viewers will see advertisements for local retailers, extended video ads for certain products, and even take quizzes and play games using the Roku remote. The new ads will also be more personalized and locally focused, using the user’s location data to offer more relevant ads.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because Roku and Innovid have teamed up for this type of advertising before, but only for one-offs. These new ads will come as part of a longer-term partnership. Early on the ads will appear on Crackle, VEVO, and a number of channels from CBS including CBS News, CBS Sports, CNET, GameSpot.

The Innovid advertising system will be added to the Roku software development kit (SDK), so eventually any channel will be able to add interative advertisements to its programming. Whether or not channels will adopt the new ads likely depends on the response from viewers, as well as how lucrative the ads prove to be.

“In time, we expect the majority of ad-supported apps on Roku will sit on top of this framework because it gives them super easy access to Innovid, to Nielsen and other things that are on our roadmap,” Roku vice president of advertising told TechCrunch, adding that more channels are already working on integrating the ads.

Roku already has plans to grow the new advertising functionality even further. While the ability to work with mobile apps isn’t baked into Innovid’s platform, Roku is developing campaigns that could remind users to tune into a specific show using SMS reminders.