LONDON — Europe’s leading pay-TV company was executing on household-level TV ad targeting before it was even being called “addressable TV”.
Six years after launch and having just been acquired by Comcast, Sky suggests this new method of selling TV ads is now commonplace across the company.
It was back in 2013 that the UK satellite and telco company launched AdSmart, its method of more finely targeting and custom-delivering different ad spots through its connected satellite set-top boxes.
In that time, Sky has served billions of impressions this way using 1,200 customer categories (many of them for newcomers to TV advertising), launched a cross-platform ad sequencing platform called Sky AdVance and an analytics offering, too.
But, for Jamie West, the executive who has steered much of the progress, those individual products no longer matter much.
“Those capabilities will not disappear and go away but, actually, our conversation now with advertisers will be about business outcomes, their marketing challenge,” Sky advanced advertising group director Jamie West in this video interview with Ashley Swartz for Beet.TV.
“And how can we help them solve the issues that are important to them. Because they quite frankly don’t care about my products, they care about what’s important to them.”
In other words, Sky’s addressable TV ad journey seems to have reached a point of maturity.
West says data capability has now been threaded throughout his organization, while many clients now want an account lead, often embedded in their company, to use as a point person for the new technique.
All of this happens a couple of months after the eventual sale of Sky to NBCUniversal owner Comcast finally closed, one piece in an evolving jigsaw of media and telecoms consolidation.
It’s clear which of the companies operates in the biggest market – but Sky’s addressable TV heritage would seem to be something NBCU can learn from the European company.
“I think the most exciting thing about the acquisition is that our strategic goals are a hundred percent aligned,” West says. “Whether it be talking to (NBCU advertising chairman) Linda Yaccarino or Dave Clark at Comcast advertising services.
“The ambition is shared not now just across two entities – Comcast and NBCU – but across three. 2019 and beyond, I think is one of the most exciting years that you’ll see at Sky.”
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.