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rovidx_media
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Roku's Ad Impression and payment math

Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:07 pm

I'm setting here crunching numbers and I've got some serious concerns about Roku and the math for their Ad system.

I use a 3rd party ad service so Roku takes 30% of my inventory off the top, then back-fills any available inventory at a 60/40 split.

The issue I'm having relates to the 30% that they take off the top.  I generally have an inventory of 6,000 impressions per day.   If Roku takes 30% that's 1,800 impressions per day.   If my 3rd party ad provider only provides 600 impressions, I've served 2400 ads but I'm only being paid for the 600 and see nothing of the 1800 that Roku takes.

After doing the math for Q3 and Q4 I made around 0.005 cents per impression and my costs are around 0.006 cents per impression.   In short, I'm losing money because Roku takes 1800 without paying me a dime.

Can someone from RokuCo (or one of the other forum members) explain how this math works?   Am I wrong?   At this point I'm ready to go back to the subscription only model.
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Re: Roku's Ad Impression and payment math

Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:31 am

Just trying to clarify a few things. The Roku payout should be 60/40 of $14/1000 (CPM) right?  So I believe with 1,800 impressions per day you should be making $15.12/day from Roku RAF, not including your 3rd party advertiser, correct?

Is the 6,000 'impressions' per day is based on the Excel sheet they send you? Just making sure you're not using the Developer site analytics of 6,000 visitors or views per day.
Secondly, I believe Roku "will" be paying us out, there's just been an endless delay & rare responses to previous channel owners constantly saying "Soon" and "Next Quarter" (As a Guns N Roses fan I'm reminded of the constant 'soon' jokes & forums posts about Chinese Democracy lol). I think eventually you'll be paid out, even if you use a 3rd party agency URL. Am I wrong here?


Yeah, its getting frustrating, even just a forum update informing us of the situation. At the very least tell us it will be resolved this year. Has anyone here heard from a Roku rep or Department regarding this?  I've only read forum posts with word of mouth expectations (Q3 17, Q1/Q2 2018 etc) for payout.
 
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rovidx_media
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Re: Roku's Ad Impression and payment math

Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:32 pm

Pasnow wrote:
Just trying to clarify a few things. The Roku payout should be 60/40 of $14/1000 (CPM) right?  So I believe with 1,800 impressions per day you should be making $15.12/day from Roku RAF, not including your 3rd party advertiser, correct?

That's what I had assumed, but after doing the numbers, it looks like they took their 30% off the top, then paid 60/40 for anything above the 30%.     According to the Dev agreement, they say they will take 30% of your inventory and keep 100% of the money.
Is the 6,000 'impressions' per day is based on the Excel sheet they send you? Just making sure you're not using the Developer site analytics of 6,000 visitors or views per day.

No, that's based on my own numbers.   I have tracking setup on my ad server to keep track of how many impressions are going out per day.
Secondly, I believe Roku "will" be paying us out, there's just been an endless delay & rare responses to previous channel owners constantly saying "Soon" and "Next Quarter" 

I got my payment on Friday (a whole 79 days late) for both Q3 and Q4.   It seems like they have quite a mess to clean up

Yeah, its getting frustrating, even just a forum update informing us of the situation. At the very least tell us it will be resolved this year. Has anyone here heard from a Roku rep or Department regarding this?  I've only read forum posts with word of mouth expectations (Q3 17, Q1/Q2 2018 etc) for payout.

.Yeah, the lack of communication or explination is quite frustrating.   I've asked multiple times how they came to those numbers and each time I was ignored.  I just want an answer and I know for a fact that Roku are seeing these complaints, but still not responding.   Seems pretty shady to me.
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Baradanikto
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Re: Roku's Ad Impression and payment math

Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:12 am

I think the issues you are experiencing are part of a larger problem that Roku has yet to address.  The general lack of support for its channel developers is very appalling and troublesome.  Sparce communications and a reliance on the more experienced users of this forum to provide assistance is not, in my opinion, the way you support your customer base. Shady practices aside, at what point do they realize that us channel developers are the engine that keeps their Cadillac rolling? 

I, for one, would love to see more involvement of the Roku staff on this forum.  It certainly would make it easier for those of us that are trying to eke out an existence.

Enough of my rant...
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rovidx_media
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Re: Roku's Ad Impression and payment math

Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:44 pm

Baradanikto wrote:
I, for one, would love to see more involvement of the Roku staff on this forum.  It certainly would make it easier for those of us that are trying to eke out an existence.

Yes, that would be a good start.   It feels like Roku is only concerned with the top-tier channels and we are an after-thought, but most people I know that purchased a Roku device was specifically for the amount of niche channels available.  
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Re: Roku's Ad Impression and payment math

Sun Feb 25, 2018 3:52 pm

rovidx_media wrote:
I'm setting here crunching numbers and I've got some serious concerns about Roku and the math for their Ad system.

I use a 3rd party ad service so Roku takes 30% of my inventory off the top, then back-fills any available inventory at a 60/40 split.

The issue I'm having relates to the 30% that they take off the top.  I generally have an inventory of 6,000 impressions per day.   If Roku takes 30% that's 1,800 impressions per day.   If my 3rd party ad provider only provides 600 impressions, I've served 2400 ads but I'm only being paid for the 600 and see nothing of the 1800 that Roku takes.

After doing the math for Q3 and Q4 I made around 0.005 cents per impression and my costs are around 0.006 cents per impression.   In short, I'm losing money because Roku takes 1800 without paying me a dime.

Can someone from RokuCo (or one of the other forum members) explain how this math works?   Am I wrong?   At this point I'm ready to go back to the subscription only model.

First things first, i am a software engineer and cannot speak for the "ad powers that be" inside Roku. Contact through official routes for official statements.

This said, my personal musing follows. Sorry, but i don't understand what the issue is?
You had 6000 ad opportunities/say, of which
  • 1800 (30%) went as Roku's share under "inventory split"
  • 4200 (70%) were yours to collect (at 100%, if you had own inventory), of which
    • 600 got filled by another provider (so they skimmed their angel's share)
    • 3600 remnant opportunities for Roku to backfill, of which
      • Roku actually filled X = ???, at 60% to you
      • the rest (3600-X) were lost opportunities
i think the mistake you are making is of calculating CPM not "per impression" but as "per opportunity". "Impression" is when a viewer actually sees an ad video (3 seconds or more it, something like that), it is not "i had an ad break marked here, therefore it was impressed". quoting the numbers you got as "per impression" is incorrect.

you hinted your expenses "made 0.005 cents per impression and my costs are around 0.006 cents per impression". i am going on a limb here to assume you meant your expenses were $0.006/opportunity x 6000/day = $36/day - and that you got paid $30/day. But if you try to calculate that as impression CPM, it will be (let's make a wild-ass guess, since i need a number - that Roku filled 1200 of the remnant 3600) $30/(600+1200) x 1000 = $17 CPM. If you received blended 60% of what advertisers paid for these particular ads, then that inventory had sold for $17/.6 = $28 CPM

i think the real focus and concern should be why your 3rd party advertiser filled only 14% of your opportunities? picture would be much brighter if they filled 50% - 80% ...
 
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rovidx_media
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Re: Roku's Ad Impression and payment math

Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:11 pm

Those numbers are rough numbers, so forgive me if it doesn't quite compute.

i think the real focus and concern should be why your 3rd party advertiser filled only 14% of your opportunities? picture would be much brighter if they filled 50% - 80% ...

Really?   Cause I think the real focus should be on Roku.  My 3rd party advertisers where up front, answered my email promptly and paid me on time.   All things that Roku Ad's has failed to do.

Not to mention, based on the numbers that I have (and without any sort of breakdown from Roku after repeated attempts to get those numbers), I still couldn't afford to run an ad supported channel based on what Roku has been filling if they paid me 60% of everything.  I needed the 3rd party to break-even and hopefully turn a profit.   

  • Roku actually filled X = ???, at 60% to you

How am I supposed to know that?   My problem is and has been Roku's refusal to answer even the basic questions of how the math works.    It seems like every time I talk to one of their employees I get partial/vague answers that never translate into much beyond "that's the way it is".

Anyhow, it doesn't much matter to me now.  I've shut down all my RAF/RAN supported channels and will continue back doing SDK channels until this is cleared up.
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