Roku Looking to Expand into Brazil: Report

Did company’s want ads tip its hand as to where it will go first in international expansion bid?
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Roku has targeted Brazil as one of the first countries it will expand into abroad, Variety reports.

The Los Gatos, Calif.-based OTT company, perhaps the hottest publicly traded streaming business at the moment, has made no secret of its plan to chase ad dollars across the globe. But it hasn’t publicly stated what fortresses it will attack first.

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It’s unclear as to what Variety’s sourcing is here — it could just be want ads. The publication said it uncovered “multiple job listings” which said Roku is looking to “create the most exciting and widely appealing content for Roku consumers in Brazil — a vibrant, growing OTT market.”

RELATED: Roku Eyes Int'l Advertising Expansion

According to Variety, Roku’s job posting also said the desired individual “would be tasked with striking deals with local broadcasters and online video services.” The objective is “that a family in San Paulo or Rio can enjoy the best and widest selection of content for their Friday night entertainment.”

Our own perusal of Roku’s internet job listings, as well as those listed on the company’s LinkedIn profile, didn’t find any want ads specifically targeting Brazil. But there are large number of internationally focused listings.

“Foreign language skills, especially Spanish, are a ‘plus,’” reads one ad for a “Director of legal and business affairs, international.”

A Roku rep came close to confirming the the expansion plan, but didn’t cross the line: “As a global company we are constantly assessing different countries that could offer new opportunities to fuel our growth. We see great potential in the streaming market in Brazil.”

Speaking to AdExchanger earlier this month, Tariq Mahmoud, director of international ad sales and strategy for Roku, noted, “International is so important for us because 81% of OTT viewing happens outside of the United States. And 61% of ad budgets come from outside the United States. There are enormous budgets.”

In the U.S., Mahmoud said, OTT ad spending accounts for only 3% of ad budgets, even though OTT viewing accounts for 30% of TV consumption. But the balance is improving domestically.

“Outside of the United States there’s way more room for improvement,” he added. “You might have a conversation with a TV or digital buyer and they won’t even know who the OTT point of contact is.”

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