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Sky to offer targeted ads from next summer

UK pay TV operator BSkyB will launch its addressable advertising service AdSmart next summer, offering advertisers around 90 different attributes to target viewers.

Sky AdSmart will launch in seven million homes on Sky’s wholly owned channels, offering various segmentation options, including age, region, financial outlook and affluence. Speaking at the Future TV Advertising Forum in London yesterday, Jamie West, director of AdSmart and commercial development, Sky Media, said AdSmart, which is based on NDS Dynamic technology, would essentially turn nine million Sky Plus DVRs into individual servers. “With AdSmart, we will have millions of ad servers. At launch next summer we will have in excess of seven million households enabled across nine million boxes,” he said.

Sky has created a viewing panel of more than 500,000 Sky TV homes across the UK, which provides information about 30 million ‘viewing events’ each day by dialling back viewing info through a connected phone line. This information can be used to provide insight into viewer behaviour and preferences.

Sky has already begun in-house testing of AdSmart and is rolling the service out to some Sky employee homes. From next summer, the operator will begin end-to-end testing involving agencies and advertisers. West said from summer 2014 it will offer “true flexible” targeting.

“Our vision is to extend the targeting across all platforms that Sky is on,” he added. “In terms of taking it onto other platforms, it is unlikely we will do that in the UK but we do envisage a world where AdSmart will be available to the commercial partners we work with today, such as ITV.”