Furious Users Triggered By Taylor Swift Ad On Their Roku

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Brace yourselves, Roku users: This weekend, streaming devices were hijacked by none other than pop queen Taylor Swift, when a massive sponsored wallpaper promoting Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour video on Disney+ took over their screens.

While Swifties might have rejoiced at the sight, not everyone was thrilled with this vivid intrusion into their living room, with some apparently feeling personally victimized.

This has led to an outpouring of outrage and hilarious reactions on social media, but also to a more serious discussion about the intrusive nature of adverts on streaming devices.

The Eras Tour: A Phenomenal Success

Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour film, a cinematic rendition of her record-breaking concert series, has been making waves since its theatrical debut.

Taylor Swift eras tour poster

It earned £5.7 million in just three days in the UK and set a new benchmark for event cinema.

In addition to its UK success, The Eras Tour film has made a substantial impact globally. The tour itself brought in $13 million per night and attracted approximately 72,000 fans at each show, underscoring Swift’s unparalleled star power.

Critics have lauded the film for its immersive experience, offering fans a front-row seat to Swift’s dynamic performances.

Despite the absence of behind-the-scenes content, the film’s focus on the concert spectacle has been enough to captivate audiences worldwide.

Taylor Swift eras tour on Disney Plus
The Eras Tour on Disney+

This month, Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour: Taylor’s Version was added to Disney+ worldwide (including the UK), and in some regions, the huge advert on Roku’s home screen promoted it (though, for now at least, I haven’t seen it in the UK).

Roku Users Getting Triggered

However, not everyone seems thrilled about the tour’s success, especially regarding the full-screen Roku ad takeover.

One Reddit user dramatically declared, “We’re just sick of intrusive ads, I don’t mind ads, but this is one of the most intrusive, brightly lit ones I’ve seen since I’ve had my Roku.”

Another user, clearly not a Swiftie, wrote, “I don’t care if you like her. I do not, and it has gotten to the point that they automatically set my wallpaper to her. Even after changing the wallpaper and removing Disney+, the ad is still there, and I want to cry. I want it to go away. Please help.” 

Help is on the way, though, as another Reddit user offered some emotional support:

“I hope you’re going to be OK. All my thoughts and prayers to you and your family. If you need any, and I mean ANY help or support, don’t hesitate to call.”

Twitter Users Join The Battle

Never ones to miss a chance to voice grievances, Twitter users were quick to join the battle against the ginormous advert.

American Singer Taylor Swift 2023
Taylor Swift (Photo: Deposit Photos / Image Press Agency)

One user apologized for their personal taste, stating, “OK, I apologize if this offends anyone, understand that this post is about my PERSONAL taste: I am NOT a huge Taylor Swift fan. (Sorry if that shocks anyone).

“Sooooo when I turn on my TV (Roku btw) and am blasted with Pink and peach and the background is an ad for her new concert tour streaming, I get a Lil Twitchy! Like, make it stop!” 

Another user questioned the timing of the ad, writing, “Why is there a Taylor Swift takeover of my Roku on a Beyoncé weekend?

And one disgruntled user even blamed Taylor for his Roku malfunctioning:

It’s Not All Bad News

Amidst the chaos, some fans were naturally thrilled to see their idol taking over their Roku devices.

One enthusiastic fan gushed, “Taylor Swift has her own Roku background?! Now she’s reached the pinnacle.”

Another happily shared, “Look who’s taken over Roku this morning! I love it!” 

Roku themselves were also quite happy to welcome Taylor into their ‘Roku City’ screen saver:

Adverts – The Cost Of Cheap Streaming Devices?

The Taylor Swift ad controversy on Roku is just one example of the growing trend of intrusive advertising on streaming devices.

These “sponsored takeovers” have become increasingly common, with Amazon’s Fire TV also displaying banners and sponsored content recommendations all over the user interface.

Amazon Fire TV Max 2nd homescreen 2023
Yes, that’s a cat food advert above your Fire TV watchlist

This advertising model helps keep the devices affordable, but at what cost to user experience? It seems that the price of enjoying relatively cheap streaming devices may be the constant bombardment of adverts.

In contrast, Apple TV has managed to avoid such blatant advertising (for now), although the device has a heftier price tag.

How to Remove Sponsored Wallpapers on Roku

If you want to escape the Swift takeover (or other sponsored takeovers in the future), there’s a simple solution for Roku users.

Navigate to Settings > Themes > Sponsored Wallpapers > and turn that off.

Roku turn off sponsored wallpapers

This action should, at least in theory, restore some digital peace and allow users to reclaim their screens.

And of course, if you do want to watch Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour – it’s available now on Disney+.

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