Last week Roku started to roll out its OS 9.2 update to Roku TVs. As we expected, there were some unannounced changes in the update. One of these changes included the addition of interactive pop-up ads when you watch your antenna or watching cable TV using Roku TVs.
Yesterday Cord Cutters News spotted the first of these ads. When watching Fox with a Roku TV running Roku OS 9.2, a Geico ad came on the TV as a pop-up promoting Ghost Town on The Roku Channel sponsored by Geico. The good news is these ads only show up during commercial breaks and on commercials that have partnered with Roku to display the interactive pop-up ad.
Here is as an example of the ad Cord Cutters News saw yesterday:
It seems that Roku is using the same technology it uses to suggest more ways to watch a show to serve ads. For some time now Roku has tracked what shows you are watching on your antenna to suggest ways to watch more shows like it on different streaming services. Now it is using that data to partner with advertisers to add interactive ads with companies like Geico.
UPDATE: A Roku spokesperson reached out to Cord Cutters News and said these type of ads are not new and have been running for two years now. Maybe the reason they’re showing up more is because of this partnership with Geico, but we’re just speculating.
The good news is if you go into the privacy settings on your Roku TV you can turn these ads off, but it also turns off the more ways to watch feature. To turn this off go to your Settings and select Privacy. There you will find an option to “Use Information From TV Inputs.” Turning that off should disable these pop-up ads.
What do you think of these pop-up ads? Are you happy to get a cheaper TV or streaming player in exchange for seeing these new interactive ads? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.
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