LONDON, UK — As we head in to 2024, some ad spend forecasts are showing flatter growth and increased challenges for TV, with the key challenge being the extent to which new streaming ads can offset declines from linear ad spend.

In the UK, ITV’s CEO has warned of a challenging ad revenue outlook, albeit with a boost from its rebooted steaming platform ITVX.

Speaking with me at The Future of TV Advertising Global 2023, presented by Index Exchange, Rhys McLachlan, Director of Advanced Advertising, ITV, explained how the platform aims to transform ad performance.

In a whirlwind year since its launch, ITVX, ITV’s online streaming platform, has chalked up an impressive 2.7 billion streams of content, attracting 40 million registered users.

As ITV navigates market shifts and a potentially challenging 2024, McLachlan is confident in the capabilities of ITVX and Planet V, ITV’s underlying programmatic platform.

“It’s going to be a challenging year,” he says. “I think it’s going to be a challenging year for many media categories, but what gives us the confidence as we approach 2024 is that we’re at the wheel.

“ITVX is a streaming-first platform. It is competing in that space. Planet V is a fully programmatic platform. We are competing for those programmatic dollars.”

X Marks The Spot

Despite its heft (ITV is the UK’s leading commercial public service broadcaster), ITV had long been regarded as underperforming on digital.

But the capabilities of Planet V and ITVX are transforming its fortunes. Now ITV is sitting on a more prosperous digital future.

At the heart of ITVX’s success is Planet V, ITV’s programmatic ad platform, which was updated to a 2.0 version a year ago.

McLachlan notes: “We came to the opinion that we could build a bigger, better, faster platform that would enable us to not only super-serve those customers who were already on the platform, but attract an entirely new cohort of advertisers who wouldn’t otherwise consider ITV and ITVX as an advertising channel for them.

The new version is “entirely in-housed” and built from the ground up, now accounting for the entirety of ITV’s digital revenue in terms of ad spend.

Previously, Planet V had been part-powered by ad-tech platform suppliers.

Innovations and Ad Formats: ITV’s Roadmap

McLachlan reveals that refining their retail media proposition will be a major focus.

The company is already allowing Boots Media Group and Tesco’s Dunhumby to bring loyalty card customer data to match against ITVX’s own user data, allowing targeting audiences for retail customers that can be targeted across the ITV estate through Planet V.

ITV even increased its investment in InfoSum, a tech company that supports such data matching.

In addition, ITV is exploring innovations around ad formats themselves, integrated partnerships, and how to get clients closer to the moments that matter in their media.

In addition, ITV recently upgraded its contextual targeting capability to 2.0 by plugging in Captify’s machine learning  techniques to identify moods, moments, objects within content that can be advertised against.

You’re watching Beet.TV coverage of The Future of TV Advertising Global 2023, presented by Index Exchange. For more videos from this series, please visit this page.