At this time last year, we reported that a Roku update included interactive pop-up ads when some users were watching cable TV or local channels with an antenna. Those interactive ads appear to be back for some Roku TV users.
The ads spotted last year included an ad for a movie on The Roku Channel, sponsored by Geico, during a Geico commercial. At the time, a Roku spokesperson commented that the ads were not new and had been active for two years.
A CCN reader sent in the following image of another type of offer this week. He says this screen has been popping up while using a PlayStation 4, offering a deal that can be redeemed via email and displaying the email connected to his Roku account.
While Roku is best known for its streaming devices and cord cutting accessories, Roku has shared that ads and subscriptions are what keep the company going.
“We don’t really make money… we certainly don’t make enough money to support our engineering organization and our operations and the cost of money to run the Roku service,” CEO Anthony Wood said back in 2018. “That’s not paid for by the hardware. That’s paid for by our ad and content business.”
Roku ads are typically displayed on menus and shown while watching content through Roku apps, but it looks like the company is again testing out options for advertising through partnerships and content outside of the Roku interface.
As we mentioned previously, these ads are easy to turn off. Just go to your Settings and select Privacy. Click Smart TV experience and uncheck the box for Use info from TV inputs. Turning that off should disable these pop-up ads.