Roku Keeps The Same Giant Ads on Home Screen But Shrinks App Icons

On 2nd September 2023, Roku started testing a new home screen and quickly rolled it out to all Roku owners.

Around 70% of users are happy with the update, especially the “Continue Watching” feature.

However, there’s a concern about having large ads on the home screen.

Looks like a way for them to put a giant add on the home screenBattlestar

I really like the Roku City Home Screen, with it’s fun animations and colors. But not a fan at all of the RC screensaver, with the constant scrolling ads. Blech. I’ll stick with my “dashcoop” sceeensaver, with the time and weather info.”—James kavin

They’re still giving too much space to advertising. They could use more than 2 icons for Continue Watching. What about shows that you haven’t started yet but want on your list? Where do those go?” —Jmgnyc


Now, let’s dive into the changes:

The new home screen has an extra column, making it a 4×4 grid of app icons instead of the old 3×3 layout. This change means you can see more app options without scrolling too much.

But to fit this extra column, Roku made the app icons a bit smaller.

What’s interesting is that they didn’t make the ads smaller, too.

Take a look at this new design:

giant ads on roku home screen

It’s like swapping one thing for another. Browsing is a bit easier and faster, but it’s not a huge improvement.

Why didn’t they change the ad size?

We don’t have official information, but it’s likely driven by their revenue goals.

Here are some possible reasons:

  • Advertising Revenue: Roku makes a lot of money from advertising, especially for its free channels. Advertisers pay Roku to show their ads, and this is a big part of Roku’s income.
  • Ad Agreements: Roku probably has contracts with advertisers that say how big ads should be and where they should appear. Changing the ad size could cause problems or need new agreements.
  • User Experience: Roku needs to balance how ads look with how much money they make. If ads were smaller, advertisers might not want to use Roku as much.

What’s your take on this? How do you feel about these changes?

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