The existing partnership through which TV ad-tech vendor Amobee powers VOD ad distribution for UK broadcaster ITV is being turned in to named “platform” of sorts.

The UK’s biggest commercial broadcaster, ITV announced “Planet V” at ITV Palooza, a celebrity-filled, advertiser-facing event in the mould of the US TV upfronts showcases, in London on Tuesday.

Planet V, powered by Amobee, enables buying, optimization and monitoring of ads bought on ITV Hub, the multi-platform app through which viewers can watch catch-up and live ITV shows.

Advertisers can use ITV’s own data on 30 million registered ITV Hub users or bring their own data.

“(ITV) realized that, technologically, they were going to be relying upon third party vendors,” said Ryan Jamboretz, Amobee chief development officer, in this video interview with Beet.TV back in June. “It was important for them to actually take some ownership and control. We are working with them very closely to develop what will be their stack.”

AdSmart Gearing up

ITV’s move comes in a quickly developing UK market.

Satellite platform Sky has pioneered UK addressable TV delivery with its AdSmart since 2014, beginning by swapping out ads stored on its TV set-top box. AdSmart is now becoming an agreed-upon UK standard of sorts, signing a deal to power rival cable platform Virgin Media’s target VOD ads as well as deals to addressable-enable ads for broadcasters Channel 4 and Channel 5 on those platforms.

This week, Sky signed a technology deal with the BBC, whose UK broadcasts are not allowed to carry advertising, through which AdSmart will nevertheless power personalized BBC show recommendations in the form of video trailers.

Planet V will work with digitally-delivered programming and ads, not linear non-digital broadcasts.

Going it alone?

A growing collection of partnerships between rivals in both the US and UK is currently aimed at amassing greater audience scale for addressable TV. That is a response to what has become the many fragmented islands of addressable opportunities.

However, ITV – which, beside the ITV Hub software, does not own its own distribution platform as Sky does – is breaking away from the pack of main UK broadcasters by not throwing in its lot with Sky’s AdSmart.

Of those broadcasters, it arguably is in the best position to do so. ITV is the UK’s largest commercial broadcast network – regulated as a public service broadcaster but, unlike the BBC, funded by advertising.

With shows like The X Factor, Downton Abbey and Coronation Street, its inventory is still a huge draw for advertisers trying to reach large audiences.

ITV says it is “extending an open invitation to any other broadcaster to join the platform”.

ITV has been searching for a paid VOD business model to bolster its historic advertising reliance.