You might know about Roku’s hardware. We tend to recommend it a lot. Roku’s ad business is less well known, but it makes even more money than hardware sales do.
In case you’re not aware, Roku tracks your viewing habits and shares some of that data with the Nielsen ratings company, but mostly uses it to serve you ads. In the past, Roku’s hardware sales have been a bigger business than the ads, but as of Q1 2018, Roku made $75.1 million in ad sales and fees, but only $61.5 million in hardware sales. This is the first time the company has made more from ads than from selling the products it uses to deliver ads.
It is worth pointing out that these numbers come from the slump after the holidays, so it’s possible that this balance could swing the other way again. However, it does strongly imply that ad sales will remain a big business for Roku going forward. If you’re planning to buy a Roku in the future (or own one now), keep in mind the company hopes to keep making money off of you with ads.
Fortunately, if you’d rather not be a cog in the ad machine, you can turn off custom ads and data tracking. Our guide here breaks down how to do it. This won’t prevent you from seeing any ads at all, but it will at least prevent Roku from using your TV watching habits to do it.
Source: The Next Web