LOS ANGELES — It is already a federation of nations. Could Europe now also form an alliance to unify online TV viewer data for advertisers?

Stéphane Coruble hopes so. As CEO of RTL AdConnect, the ad sales division of RTL Group, he has already been responsible for helping start a continent-wide joint approach to advanced TV ad operations.

Now Coruble wants to go several steps farther.

In this video interview with Mediatel Events director Justin Lebbon at Beet.TV’s Beet Retreat, he explains how Europe’s tectonic plates are shifting.

An on-ramp to all of Europe

“We have the Data Alliance coming up in Germany, where basically the whole Bertelsmann companies are sharing information about their users in a central DMP,” Coruble says, Bertelsmann being the giant media holder than is RTL’s majority owner.

What is more, RTL AdConnect recently announced TechAlliance, a newly formed company to combine the ad-tech services of Amobee and RTL’s Smartclip in Europe.

The plan? “To build, in the future, a European buying tool in order to be able to access, in a simplified way or global, inventory in Europe from linear TV,” says Coruble.

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Connecting the continent

RTL AdConnect uses a video marketplace platform to represent premium inventory across linear TV and VOD, built on SpotX and Smartclip, both of which RTL acquired in recent years in addition to VideoAmp and Clypd.

The idea is to give video and TV companies a leg-up in ad sales against the might of tech platforms, by appealing to international advertisers with a clear pitch in a fragmented market: “Buy across Europe” – specifically, 800 million audience members in Europe.

On its own, RTL Television’s footprint is significant, including RTL Television in Germany, M6 in France, the RTL channels in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Croatia, Hungary, and Antena 3 in Spain, not to mention the Fremantle content business.

But AdConnect doesn’t just sell RTL’s inventory in mainland Europe. It also represents ad sales for UK commercial broadcaster ITV outside of the UK, for example.

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Unifying European identity

The latest wave of joint working, however, goes beyond broadcaster partnerships; it is happening at the tech and identity data level.

“In each country there are some additional initiatives combining different sets of data that are coming together,” Coruble says.

“In Germany, we call it the netID. You have telecom operators, broadcasters, magazine owners, print owners for subscriptions et cetera that are sharing a chunk of their first-party data together in order to make it easier.”

NetID also includes single sign-on (SSO) features that unite user logins across content services from distinct media companies.

Collaboration across nation

For Coruble, joint working across the continent will grow, and he wants RTL AdConnect to be a catalyst.

“I think this will happen in other countries in Europe,” he says. “We want to intensify the collaboration with other broadcasters. This collaboration at international level is intensifying.”

Coruble hopes that tools like that offered through his TechAlliance will help European broadcasters retain control over their own ad sales from big tech companies.

“We’re very willing to share this tech with other broadcasters who wish to embark into this vision of more collaboration, more control,” he says.

“We don’t want our ecosystem to be controlled by others. We want to be mastering where we are making business.”

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