Sky and Virgin combine over programmatic advertising selection

We can expect more and more pay TV operations to team up on programmatic advertising – and last week it was Sky and Virgin’s turn in the UK, to tie up a link between Liberty Global’s ad system and Sky’s Adsmart, so that programmatic deals could be offered across both of them in one pass.

This allows both sets of customer data to be searched in a single go to find a scalable opportunity to advertise to, bringing around 12 million Sky UK and Ireland customers into the same programmatic search with the 4 million or so Virgin pay TV customers. This can be for advertising on both linear and on-demand TV.

Both companies say they will continue to compete for TV advertising outside the partnership, but there will now be a single one-stop buying point through Sky Media in the UK for targeted advertising via Sky and Virgin Media addressable set tops.

“In partnering with Sky we’re putting the UK and Ireland at the forefront of TV advertising innovation,” said Virgin Media chief executive Tom Mockridge. “We’re giving consumers advertising that is more relevant to them and giving brands a trusted destination to deliver intelligent, tailored TV campaigns to a targeted audience.”

The two claim they have so many viewers that it puts them on a par with social media audiences within the UK; and the companies are keen to contrast perceptions of well-regulated TV production and advertising with the wider online world. They described the deals on offer as “high quality, brand-safe and transparent”.