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LONDON, June 15 British pay-TV rivals Sky
and Liberty Global's Virgin Media will team
up to offer advertisers access to more than 30 million TV
viewers in Britain and Ireland.
The partnership, which covers both broadcast and video on
demand (VOD) advertising, will make use of Sky's AdSmart
targeted advertising platform as well as Liberty Global's
technology, Sky said.
AdSmart enables Sky to provide different ads for different
households watching the same programme, allowing advertisers to
target viewers according to factors such as age, lifestyle and
location using Sky's customer data.
TV broadcasters are fighting to preserve their share of the
ad market as companies spend more on social networks such as
Facebook and online platforms including Google's
European broadcasters TF1, ProSiebenSat.1
and Mediaset said last week they would set up
a joint trading platform for digital video advertising to appeal
to media agencies planning continent-wide campaigns.
Sky said the partnership with its rival would give companies
access to more than 30 million "targetable" TV viewers in
Britain and Ireland, an audience on par with social networks
such as Facebook.
Sky's Chief Operating Officer Andrew Griffith said thousands
of leading brands were tailoring their campaigns by using
"Today's partnership takes that to the next level with the
extension of AdSmart to millions more homes meaning more
relevant ads for Virgin customers and a larger platform for
advertisers," he said.
Spot advertising on TV is forecast to grow 0.7 percent this
year, according to eMarketer, while digital advertising is
forecast to grow 9.5 percent.
Video-on-demand advertising, however, is growing rapidly,
with eMarketer predicting a 12.4 percent rise in ad spend.
Television retains two advantages over some online
platforms, namely the transparency of viewing numbers and
content that has to meet strict broadcasting standards.
Some large brands have pulled ads from YouTube over concerns
that their ads may have appeared on channels that broadcast
Facebook admitted last year it overstated some key ad
metrics on its site, and it is taking steps to provide more
clarity to advertisers.
Sky said the tie-up with Virgin gave brands the ability to
target audiences whilst utilising the "attractive, quality,
trusted, and brand safe environment of TV".
(Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by James Davey and Keith