Sky AdSmart goes live

January 15, 2014 09.33 Europe/London By Julian Clover

Sky Terabyte boxSky has launched its new targeted advertising service, AdSmart, boasting an inventory of more than 40 brands.

Tesco, Royal Bank of Scotland, Littlewoods, American Airlines and Audi have all signed to use AdSmart following a six month trial and an even longer gestation period.

The Sky+ HD receiver is effectively being turned into a media server with segmentation being offered according to specified attributes and geographically.

It works by sending a library of adverts via satellite to the Sky+HD set-top box. It then selects the adverts which best match a household’s profile and inserts them into a live ad break. The line-up of adverts is based on a customer’s postcode alongside publically available demographic information from third-party providers including the data services company Experian.

16 standard TV regions and 15 large metropolitan areas are available, 13 household types based on their financial needs, behavioural influences and preferences are also available and there is segmentation according to life stage and age of children.

At launch, the AdSmart ads will be carried on the Sky Movies channels, Sky Entertainment channels (Sky 1, Atlantic, Living Arts), plus Pick and Challenge.

Andrew Griffith, Sky’s Managing Director, Commercial Businesses and Chief Financial Officer, comments: “With Sky AdSmart, we want to make TV advertising work better for viewers and advertisers. By enabling advertisers to better segment the TV audience, Sky AdSmart has the potential to open up TV advertising to many more brands and businesses. This helps both the brands that previously thought TV too broad a medium, as well as local advertisers who felt that TV wasn’t previously accessible to them.”

In addition to the big national brands, Sky is also looking to local businesses who may have previously concluded advertising on TV wasn’t for them and brands that may have left TV advertising.

Local advertisers who have signed up to use Sky AdSmart include insurance group First Central and the Hampshire car dealership Hendy Group. In total, one quarter of the brands that have signed up for Sky AdSmart are either new to TV advertising or had previously left the market. Those returning to TV advertising include Nestle’s confectionery brand Polo.

At launch AdSmart will be available to one-fifth of UK households.