In an attempt to expand the ad business, Facebook has started testing targeted ads in apps on streaming devices such as Apple TV and Roku. The goal is to transition to individual ads instead of today’s generic ones, according to a report by Bloomberg.
Targeted ads from Facebook
The testing is currently being carried out only in the US in a partnership with the two streaming services, A&E and Tubi TV, through their apps on Apple TV and Roku. Here, viewers are served individual, targeted TV video ads. If it proves to be a successful trial Facebook will expand the initiative.
Of course, TV ads have been part of the broadcast experience for decades but Facebook want to improve the model. With all the data that the company has aggregated on you and your friends the new system can service highly targeted TV ads.
Facebook pairs the IP address on your Apple TV or Roku with the one you are using on Facebook. If you have been researching a new car on the internet and Facebook in recent weeks you are likely to see a video ad for cars on your TV screen for example. And vice versa; if you watch a lot of comedy on your TV you are likely to see ads for comedy while using Facebook on a PC, tablet or phone.
- “We are testing how to best deliver video ads through Audience Network to people watching content on connected TVs. Our goal is to bring relevant ad experiences to people both on Facebook and off,” the company said last month.
Only in partner apps
The setup obviously requires streaming providers to participate and allow Facebook to take a slice of the pie.
As you probably know, a service like Netflix is ad-free so this is not relevant for these type of subscription services.
Instead, this is a new TV ad platform designed for streaming providers who already serve ads. One example could be the new free version of Vudu that offers free movies with ads.
You can of course just continue to pay for your content and subscribe to services like Netflix but if you start seeing targeted ads that seem to know a little too much about your private life in the next few years you know why. In addition to Facebook, twitter is also exploring targeted TV ads.