LONDON – Even more fragmented, but more cooperative – that’s how the connected TV (CTV) advertising landscape looks in Europe compared to the US, according to one man who leads European CTV operators for a major ad-tech supplier.

If you thought the US CTV environment was fragmented, the European marketplace – marked by a host of nation states as well as a plethora of viewing options and trading methods – is even more so.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Vincent Soucaret, the head of EMEA video advisory for AT&T’s Xandr ad unit, describes the picture for an ad format he says has been seeing “triple-digit growth” in spending.

Supply is constrained

“We basically have less supply,” Soucaret says. “It’s very, very fragmented. The supply in local markets is very short as compared to what you can see in the US.”

Diverse delivery methods

CTV ad inventory supply is constrained for a variety for reasons – not least the proliferation of devices and services which have caused CTV viewing itself to rocket in the first place. In Europe, that is even more so. In France, for example. over-the-top TV apps are less popular than elsewhere, because ISPs got an early foothold by offering their own “IPTV” services to their own-brand TV-over-broadband boxes.

Elder age profile

“The adoption of the technology by its population might be slowed down by a little older population in some countries than others,” Soucaret says. “Where, in the US, I think the median age (of a CTV viewer) is 37 years old or something in some countries in Europe, it’s a little bit older.”

More cooperative

In Europe, broadcasters aren’t just partnering to make ad sales easier across the industry – some are also coming together in shared content platforms. For example, BritBox has been launched as a joint SVOD by the BBC and ITV, traditionally two public service TV rivals in the UK. Soucaret sees more such services gathering pace, as the sell side aims to compete with Netflix’s ad-free experience.


“A lot of the buyers are not trained enough in what is CTV,” Soucaret says. “They’re used to that digital mindset to target individual users. (But) that might not always be the case when we talk about CTV because we usually target at the household level.”

The forward march

Despite the challenges, Soucaret says broadcast TV ad sales houses are wanting to switch on to programmatically-enable their CTV ad sales.

They are now striking direct relationships with demand-side ad platforms (DSPs), often creating their own private marketplaces so they can sell their own inventory on their own terms.

“They want to stay very innovative,” Xandr’s Soucaret adds. “So we see a lot of premium publishers finding innovative ways to give not only access to the VOD content, but also the linear inventory.”

For example, Xandr recently partnered with France’s Realytics so that customers of Xandr’s Invest buying platform can reach the 80% of the French linear TV market available through Realytics.

You are watching Where We Go From Here: The Lessons and Opportunities of 2020, a Beet.TV series presented by Xandr. For more videos, please visit this page