Roku Acquires Ad Tech Firm Dataxu For $150M In Cash And Stock

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Roku, which has evolved beyond streaming boxes and dongles to become a force in streaming advertising, has acquired ad-tech firm Dataxu for $150 million in cash and stock.

The deal is expected to close during the fourth quarter. Roku executives will detail their plans for integrating Dataxu’s demand-side buying and planning tools during the company’s third-quarter earnings call on November 6.

Roku reported having 30.5 million active accounts as of the end of June and streams more ad-supported programming than any other platform, according to measurement firm comScore.

In a press release announcing the acquisition, the company said owning Dataxu will “enable Roku to provide marketers a single, data-driven software solution to plan, buy, and optimize their ad spend across TV and OTT providers.”

Dataxu’s teams of software engineers, data scientists and analysts will join Roku and work with new and existing ad clients. With traditional TV advertising worth more than $70 billion a year, spending by advertisers has not caught up to viewing in the streaming arena, despite hugely anticipated new offerings reaching the market in the coming months. While OTT accounts for 29% of TV viewing, it has gained just 3% share in overall TV advertising budgets, according to ad agency Magna Global.

“TV advertising is shifting toward OTT and a data-driven model focused on business outcomes for brands,” Roku CEO Anthony Wood said. “The acquisition of Dataxu will accelerate our ad platform while also helping our content partners monetize their inventory even more effectively.”

Roku shares, which have more than tripled in 2019 to date, dropped 3% to close at $129.06, following a typical pattern that sees acquiring companies dinged by Wall Street.

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