Some Roku smart TV owners are seeing banner ads appear on live content, according to a thread on the r/cordcutters subreddit.
A user named p3t3or posted the following message:
Welp, this is the last time I’ll buy or recommend a Roku. After a Sleep Number ad, I just got a Roku sidebar ad while watching live TV. I’ve really loved the Roku experience so far, but this is a deal breaker.
The message was accompanied by the following photo:
The photo shows a Sharp TV running Roku software and displaying an advertisement for a bed during a live sports broadcast, along with a prompt to “press OK to get an offer”.
These ads do not appear to appear on Roku’s own hardware, such as Roku Ultra, Express, Streambar, or Streaming Stick. Rather, they appear on some smart TVs running the Roku TV platform, and it may be some brands, like Sharp. Some TCL Roku TV owners said they hadn’t seen the ads.
Luckily, thread users reported that the feature can be turned off in privacy settings. But it may disable other Roku features.
Roku’s platform isn’t alone in adding ads to content. Users have already complained about ads appearing prominently on Samsung TVs, and while we haven’t seen any reports of ads appearing on live content on LG’s webOS TVs, they do appear at different times. other places in the TV software.
Additionally, some of these platforms collect and monetize user data, as we have already reported about Vizio TVs.
Smart TV platforms provide convenience, but rarely do software and services that receive free, ongoing support and updates work without displaying ads, monetizing user data, or both. Profit margins on TVs can be low outside the high end of the market, and support for software and over-the-air services costs money over time, so TV makers and of platforms are looking for ways to generate recurring revenue on top of what they get from early sales.
User complaints like these may reflect a trend to which there is no clear end.
We’ve reached out to Roku for comment and clarification on which devices are showing these ads and the potential effects of disabling them in Settings.