Sky and Virgin Media announce strategic partnership to accelerate brand-safe targeted TV advertising

15 June 2017

Partnership to give access to more than 30 million targeted TV viewers in the UK and Ireland

Partnership to give access of more than 30 million targetable TV viewers in the UK and Ireland

More impactful targeted TV ad campaigns, underpinned by intelligent data

Transparent, brand safe environments and trusted measurement for advertisers

Sky and Virgin Media today announce a strategic partnership that will enable businesses both big and small to benefit further from advanced TV advertising across both Virgin TV and Sky platforms. Advertisers will be able to target a potential audience over time of more than 30 million viewers; putting it on par with leading social networks.

By using market-leading targeting technology, originally launched in the UK via the Sky platform with AdSmart and underpinned by in-depth customer data, the partnership will transform the scale of advanced TV advertising in the UK and Ireland.  This will give brands the ability to target audiences whilst utilising the attractive, quality, trusted, and brand safe environment of TV.

The partnership covers both targeted linear and video on demand (VOD) TV advertising, with Virgin Media making use of technology developed by parent company, Liberty Global, as well as Sky’s ground-breaking and award winning Sky AdSmart. The deal also ensures as targeted TV expands onto new platforms there are consistent capabilities, currencies and targeting, which is hugely beneficial to clients.  

Virgin Media’s Pat Kiely and Sky Media’s Jamie West will be leading the development of the strategic partnership.

Both parties intend that additional sales houses and channels will benefit from AdSmart technology over time.

Virgin Media’s Chief Executive Tom Mockridge commented:

> Quality programming deserves to be supported with quality advertising. In partnering with Sky we’re putting the UK and Ireland at the forefront of TV advertising innovation. 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.

Andrew Griffith, Sky’s Group Chief Operating Officer commented:**

> Addressable TV is the high quality, brand safe and transparent medium that leading brands have already been adopting in their thousands. Today’s partnership takes that to the next level with the extension of AdSmart to millions more homes meaning more relevant ads for Virgin customers and a larger platform for advertisers.


Notes to Editors

A single, one-stop buying point through Sky Media will exist in the UK for targeted TV advertising with impressions served across Virgin Media and Sky’s addressable set-top boxes.

In Ireland, Sky AdSmart is currently in a test and learn phase and will be rolling-out over the coming months.

Virgin Media Solutions and Sky Media will continue to operate independently and to compete in the TV advertising sector outside of the partnership including non-targeted linear airtime, sponsorship, self-promotional advertising and VOD using traditionally traded audiences.

  • 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.
  • NBC universal is set to be the latest addition to the Sky AdSmart family with their portfolio of channels including Universal Channel becoming ‘AdSmart enabled’
  • In February 2017, Channel 5 joined Sky AdSmart becoming the first PSB to join the platform
  • There are currently over 100 AdSmart enabled channels including all Sky’s channels as well as Media Partners including  Fox International Channels ( Fox, Nat Geo),  A+E Networks (History, Lifetime, Crime + Investigation), Viacom (MTV, Comedy Central, Channel 5)
  • Pat Kiely is Managing Director of TV3 in Ireland.
  • Jamie West is Group Director of Advanced Advertising at Sky Media.