CANNES — European broadcasters know they desperately want to enable the delivery of so-called addressable TV advertising, the advertising tactic which allows custom ad swap-outs targeted at individual households or viewers.

But two of Europe’s biggest markets actually have limits on the practice:

  • In Germany, strict privacy regulation means broadcasters can’t use personal information to target ads, ProSiebenSat.1 is using probabilistic matching that employs piecing together a host of descriptive and demographic signals to infer the likely characteristics of a household.
  • In France, all commercial targeted broadcast TV is prohibited. For the last couple of years, broadcasters and telcos have been trialling workarounds including playing out swapped-out ads from a local source.

M6, the French broadcaster owned by pan-European RTL Group, is one of those getting its house in order, in anticipation of regulations being relaxed.

“At the moment, on the French market, we do not have the authorization to do addressable TV,” says Kim Younes, marketing and innovation director at M6 Publicité, the company’s sales house, in this video interview with Beet.TV. “So, we’ve been preparing, and we’ve been preparing with SpotX, to be able to substitute spots on linear TV.

“We’ve built a technological know how, and a technological platform with SpotX, to be in capacity to deliver addressable TV on connected TVs. We’ve been doing that for almost two years now, 18 months.

“We’ve conducted the first experiments 18 months ago, and we conducted a new one month ago, with La Poste (France’s postal service). And the difference was we added a layer of data, meaning we were able to achieve the first live and audience targeting substitution on the spot, on a French national channel.”

SpotX and Smartclip were acquired by RTL in recent years, in addition to VideoAmp and Clypd.

It is reckoned addressable TV, by giving brands targetability like they find in digital, could unlock new ad spending for TV.

SpotX has previously written about the importance of respecting privacy regulation.

M6 has already teamed up with rival TF1 and public broadcaster France Télévisions to mix audience data and sell ads across their combined portfolio.

Younes hopes the industry can find its way through to an addressable solution.

“With addressable TV, basically, you will find the best battles between the two worlds,” she says. “The possibilities brought by the digital, and the quality and the safety, and the power of television.”

This segment is part of a series titled The New Global Marketplace for Premium Video, produced at Cannes Lions and sponsored by RTL AdConnect.  For more videos from the series, please visit this page.   For all of Beet.TV’s coverage of Cannes Lions 2019, please visit this page