Virgin Media and Sky have announced that Sky’s AdSmart technology will launch across the Virgin TV footprint in the UK from Monday 1st July.
The launch of AdSmart will enable advertisers to target a potential audience over time of more than 30 million viewers across Sky and Virgin Media households; putting it on par with leading social networks.
AdSmart enables different ads to be shown to households watching the same programme. This gives advertisers and brands the ability to tailor their campaigns to specific audiences and locations in an intelligent and trusted way.
The partnership covers both targeted linear and video on demand (VOD) TV advertising. Sky Media will act as exclusive advertising sales agent across the entire AdSmart network in the UK. Virgin Media will make use of technology developed by parent company Liberty Global as well as Sky’s ground-breaking AdSmart capabilities.
Speaking at the Connected TV World Summit in the Royal College of Physicians in London, Pat Kiely, Managing Director of Virgin Media Television said: “This is a very exciting time as we count down to the launch of the next generation of television advertising across our network. Our partnership with Sky will ensure that television advertisers, new and old, will have access to an extended reach of 30m targetable TV viewers in the UK. AdSmart is truly a game changer for our industry and we’re delighted to play our part by adding scale and building on its current momentum.
“I’m also delighted to confirm that our free-to-air channels in Ireland are almost ready to go live. With Virgin Media TV now representing the biggest share of commercial impacts in Ireland, this is a major breakthrough. When added to the Sky advertising portfolio, AdSmart will be accessible across 60% of commercial viewership in Ireland.”
Virgin Media also confirmed that it expects to launch AdSmart on its own free-to-air television service (Virgin Media One) in the Republic of Ireland with trials starting from Q4 2019.
Jamie West, Sky’s Group Director of Advanced Advertising added: “This partnership with Virgin Media brings advertisers even more scale and opportunity to reach TV audiences in a trusted, brand-safe and measurable way. With the recent announcement that AdSmart will be going global with NBC Universal in the US, AdSmart is quickly becoming the one-stop shop for reaching consumers around the world within a premium video environment.”
Virgin Media reaches more than 4m households with its TV service in the UK and Ireland, with Sky reaching 11m households. Average household occupancy is 2.3 people (ONS). Note that this is a potential audience that could be reached as the respective applicable set-top box rollout increases through the duration of the partnership.