The UK’s leading commercial TV broadcaster has upped its commitment to programmatic TV and video ad sales, in a move that sees it partner with a big ad-tech supplier.

The broadcaster, which airs Downton Abbey and Coronation Street in the UK, recently picked Amobee as the platform through which it will distribute its digital ad inventory.

The UK’s biggest commercial broadcaster, ITV announced an exclusive UK and Ireland licensing agreement with Amobee for end-to-end programmatic buying and selling of premium video inventory on its VOD catch-up service, the ITV Hub.

“ITV was keen … to take a much more proactive stance in terms of how they were going to operate in the programmatic and converged digital and TV space,” says Ryan Jamboretz, Amobee chief development officer, in this video interview with Beet.TV

“They realized that, technologically, they were going to be relying upon third party vendors and it was such a critical thing, not only to their future, but their future in terms of their share, that it was important for them to actually take some ownership and control.”

ITV is a public service broadcaster, meaning it must operate within a regulated environment to fulfil public purpose.

But it is also a commercial one, meaning it must fund itself to do so. Historically, that has been through advertising. Whilst it goes on upgrading its ad capabilities, however, ITV is also endeavoring to offer paid VOD services, something that is proving a challenge.

Still, Jamboretz sees the Amobee-ITV relationship as two-way.

“It’s incredibly close,” he says. “We are working with them very closely to develop what will be their stack. And in many ways, what they’re helping us develop is helping to inform what we are pushing out around the world.

“It’s quite a cherished position for us because we have a customer in the form of ITV who, in their market and across the region of Europe, is considered to be probably one of the largest, most progressive players.

“And to have them, in many ways, kind of holding our hand, guiding us on some of the more, interesting product development aspects makes it much less guesswork and makes it feel like we were actually going out into the market and other regions with a lot of confidence about what’s coming.”

This video is from Cannes Lions if from our series, Capitalize on Convergence, presented by Amobee.  For more videos from the series, visit this page.  To find all Beet.TV coverage from Cannes, please visit this page.