July 21, 2023

Written by Tim Colucci

Why Barbie Is a Connected TV Star

I’ve written a few times about Roku’s marketing innovations in 2023, and for good reason: with more than 70 million active accounts, Roku is the leading streaming platform in the United States, and it is a bellwether for the rise of connected TV (CTV). Roku’s ability to create branded content illustrates the marketing possibilities of CTV, an area where True Interactive has deep experience.

The latest sign of Roku’s leadership: the company has successfully acquired the rights to the highly anticipated Barbie movie. The deal, which has generated considerable industry buzz, underscores Roku’s commitment to expanding its original content offerings and capitalizing on the growing popularity of streaming services.

The Barbie movie, a joint production between Mattel Films and Warner Bros., is expected to be a major draw for viewers of all ages. As part of the agreement, Roku has secured exclusive streaming rights for the film, which will be available only to Roku’s extensive user base. This maneuver is set to not only attract new subscribers but also solidify the loyalty of existing Roku users.

The Barbie movie is taking over Roku devices, including a Barbie Dreamhouse in Roku City; a takeover of the Roku home screen (where users access the apps to watch their shows and movies); and the ability to watch a trailer for the movie or buy a movie ticket directly on their TV sets.

Barbie, which stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, is present on the Roku home screen. When users pause what they’re watching up through July 23, the Barbie Dreamhouse and Barbieland take over the Roku City screensaver, as do Barbie-themed billboards and movie theaters. When users click through, they are brought to a landing page to watch a trailer for the movie, and with a QR code that will let them instantly buy tickets.

Roku’s move towards producing original content represents a shift in its business strategy. Traditionally known for providing a wide array of streaming options from various content providers, the company is now positioning itself as a creator of exclusive, premium content, setting it apart from its competitors, which include Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and others.

Industry analysts speculate that this acquisition is just the beginning of Roku’s plans for expansion. With the rise of streaming services and cord-cutting becoming the norm, Roku is keen on establishing a strong position in the market by producing engaging original content.

As streaming wars continue to intensify, Roku’s focus on content creation may set the standard for the entire CTV industry. By leveraging its massive user base and constantly growing digital ecosystem, the company is poised to make a significant impact in the entertainment industry.

At True Interactive, we believe it’s important that businesses understand the growth of advertising on streaming platforms in context of the rise of connected TV. If you’ve not done so already, take a closer look at why connected TV is growing and how it could expand your audience. (True Interactive can help you with that.) Connected TV is enjoying 60-percent growth, driven by a public’s appetite for streaming that continues unabated.

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