Roku, Cox Automotive Partner on Measuring Impact of Streaming Auto Ads

(Image credit: Roku)

ATLANTA & SAN JOSE, Calif.—Cox Automotive and Roku have announced that they will be working together to better measure the impact of TV streaming ads. The partnership will combine data from Cox Automotive with TV streaming data from Roku to provide information to auto marketers that will better quantify exactly how advertising in streaming TV impacts the process of buying a vehicle, from web browsing to vehicle sales. 

“The ad measurement of the future will start with data from direct consumer relationships because it’s more accurate and scalable,” says Asaf Davidov, head of ad measurement and research at Roku. “Roku and Cox are uniquely positioned to partner with auto marketers to go under the hood and make every marketing dollar work harder.”

Cox Automotive’s family of brands includes Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book, which reach two out of three online car shoppers during their research and shopping journey. This partnership makes Roku the first TV streaming pilot partner to offer and market Cox Automotive data for measurement in the TV streaming category.

Roku’s scale of 70 million active accounts paired with Cox Automotive, which receives 2.7 billion online visits across its online properties, offers new levels of insight to automotive marketers, the companies said at a time when consumers are spending more money on digital retail and ad dollars are shifting to TV streaming. 

According to SMI’s December Forecast for TV & Streaming, TV streaming ad spend in the auto category grew +35% YOY in 2022 vs. +7% YOY in 2021.

The move to improve measurement of how streaming TV auto ads could pose a significant threat to local broadcasters who have long relied on auto ads as one of their most lucrative sales categories but have lagged in building up their streaming businesses. 

Roku and Cox noted that nearly half of potential auto buyers start their consumer journey 6+ months before a purchase. However, most measurement solutions for auto marketers today only capture basic sell-through metrics for new and used vehicle transactions. This leaves a blind spot for brands who want to understand how TV streaming impacts search, discovery and pre-purchase behavior, the companies said. 

The new partnership provides advertisers with a look into the entire consumer journey – from online actions at the start, to consideration, to intent, and ultimately to purchase. To get started, an auto brand identifies its target audience and runs a TV streaming campaign with Roku. Roku then passes its ad exposure data to Cox Automotive matching it with their own first-party data set. Cox Automotive can then deliver reports that tie streaming ad exposure to consumer behaviors across Cox Automotive properties, the companies said. 

“With our data capabilities combined, we will offer auto advertisers a holistic view of the consumer auto journey, revolutionizing how advertisers measure the impact of their digital advertising investment,” says Steve Lind, vice president of operations, advertising, at Cox Automotive. “Cox Automotive’s unparalleled audience paired with the data insights from Roku will provide a new look at performance during every stage of the car buyer journey.”

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.