After a few years in which Sky’s AdSmart was the main game in town, the UK’s advanced TV advertising opportunity is hotting up.

The industry is seeing a combination of collaboration and measurement upgrade.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Emma Moorhead, General Manager, Wavemaker UK, tells The Project-X Institute executive director how the market is evolving.

Toward flexibility

Moorhead says “increasing collaboration from the public sector broadcasters” is helping the companies improve their offering, relative to US streaming TV operators and global tech companies.

In the last couple of years, Channel and ITV have made significant gains in gathering millions of user registrations for their cross-platform catch-up and viewing services.

“What we’re seeing off the back of this is increased flexibility,” Moorhead says.

“In the last year we’ve seen a reduction in advanced booking deadlines, which makes the medium a lot more flexible for advertisers.”

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TV frenemies

But, whilst collaboration is good, Moorhead is cautious that it doesn’t come at the cost of competition.

“That’s why actually the UK market’s quite strong and healthy, because we see this competition between the broadcasters who are all gunning for a part of the advertising pie. The inter-competition makes the market more stronger.”

UK watchers with long memories will remember, planned in 2008 as a single ad-funded platform for shows from BBC Worldwide, ITV and Channel 4.

The proposal was nixed before launch by the regulating Competition Commission, which ruled it would result in a “substantial lessening of competition in the supply of UK TV VOD content at the wholesale and retail levels”.

That ruling continues to be widely seen as perverse by many analysts, directly contributing to an era in which rival global platforms gained considerable UK traction in during which UK broadcasters instead launched their own-brand broadcaster-VOD (BVOD) platforms.

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Measurement options

Now collaboration is happening in particular at the standards and measurement level.

The industry is pushing forward with an initiative to implement a common approach to measuring media consumption across screens, called Project Origin.

Meanwhile, UK TV’s historic measurement collector BARB in November finally introduced a “once-in-a-generation” upgrade to incorporate SVOD and video sharing platform measurement, via meter panel households, though BARB and Project Origin are not fully aligned.

“This is a huge challenge and be able to measure both linear and on demand viewing is very complex thing,” Wavemaker UK’s Moorhead says.

But she welcomes efforts by Origin, BARB, CFlight and Finecast as contributing to “a few different options on the table”.

You are watching “Advanced TV Advertising in the UK: The Next Three Years,” a Beet.TV leadership series presented by Finecast. For more videos, please visit this page.