LONDON — Across Europe, in multiple media industries, what once were competitors are coming together, forming a variety of ad sales cooperatives in a bid to pool inventory they hope can match the vast scale of Google and Facebook.

In another such initiative, French TV channel operator M6 is teaming with rival TF1 and public broadcaster France Télévisions to mix audience data and sell ads across their combined portfolio.

The initiative is due to launch in Q1 2019, according to Stephane Coruble, the MD of AdConnect, an ad sales unit across RTL group properties, which include M6.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, he says the aim is “to simplify the access to programmatic buying and online video”.

“It also uses first party data, and combining basically the first party data from our clients and mixing them, mixing the segments together with our first party data, and being able to reach the right consumers on our combined portfolio,” Coruble adds.

Adconnect unit is an ad sales arm for RTL-owned broadcasters and shows made by its Fremantle Media subsidiary (American Idol, Got Talent, X Factor) around the world, but also those owned by other operators.

RTL Adconnect uses  a video marketplace platform to access premium inventory across linear TV and VOD, built on SpotX and Smartclip, both of which RTL acquired in recent years in addition to VideoAmp and Clypd.

The idea is to give video and TV companies a leg-up in ad sales against the might of tech platforms, appealing to international companies with a clear pitch in a fragmented market: “Buy Europe”.

The UK’s main free-to-air commercial broadcaster ITV recently signed a deal with Adconnect in which the latter will represent ITV outside of the UK on ad sales.

That is in addition to existing deals to represent RAI in Italy and Medialaan in North Belgium.

“In Germany, for instance, we are putting together … subscribers’ ID,” Coruble continues.

“You will see more and more alliances happening on the markets, on the different local markets, because I think that we need to be stronger together in order to compete or cooperate sometimes with the big international platforms.”

This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the Future of TV Advertising Forum 2018, London. The series is sponsored by Finecast. For more segments from the series, visit this page.