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It’s a Horrible Idea for Roku to Show You Ads When You Pause Your Video Game

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Roku is thinking of taking a pretty invasive method to increasing ad exposure and revenue: showing advertising on Roku TVs when users halt video games or move to other streaming platforms. A new patent filing that outlines this idea has sparked worries about possible privacy and user experience violations.

A significant participant in the streaming market, Roku seeks to address the problem of generating revenue from idle screen time when consumers go to competing streaming adapters or game consoles. The technology that the business is proposing would utilize HDMI connection to identify breaks in external material and take advantage of these opportunities to show customized adverts.

The patent application states that Roku’s technology would use tools for audio or video recognition in order to recognize stopped material and present customized advertisements depending on the watching habits of the user. This strategy is an attempt to reclaim control over viewing periods that would not fall under Roku’s advertising purview otherwise.

Nonetheless, the notion has generated a great deal of anxiety among customers and analysts. As the streaming weekly Lowpass’s Janko Roettgers eloquently pointed out, Roku’s desire to profit from “screen-off” periods brings a degree of interference rarely seen in TV advertising before. Many others share this concern of having their personal watching habits invaded.

When you pause a show or game, you can be met with an unexpected advertisement that is relevant to the material you were just enjoying. Due to the proposed system’s reliance on pause detection, there is a risk of false triggers interfering with gaming or dramatic movie scenes.

The suggested security measures from Roku aim to reduce disruptions brought on by fake pauses by tracking content frames and evaluating aural cues. However, these precautions could not be perfect and could cause annoying disruptions for users who are immersed in their activities.

The patent filing reveals Roku’s goal to expand its advertising reach outside of its own streaming environment, even though it does not ensure execution. A major divergence from conventional ad distribution strategies is the concept of advertisements invading external watching activities, which raises legitimate concerns around user permission and the sanctity of uninterrupted entertainment.

The move by Roku to charge for stopped screen time represents a possible paradigm change in TV advertising, one that may redraw the lines separating user interaction from business objectives. Consumers who enjoy continuous entertainment experiences find it unsettling that advertisements may interrupt their favorite shows as they wait for further advancements.

What do you think?

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