Sky is investing $5 million in the US advertising technology firm Sharethrough, a leader in so-called ‘native advertising’.
Native advertising is a software that enables publishers to monetize their sites and apps with adverts that are non-interruptive and stylistically similar to the surrounding content. For advertisers, Sharethrough’s software provides them with an automated solution to match online ad campaigns to the webpages they are hosted on.
The investment is part of a strategy by the broadcaster to drive innovation by partnering with emerging technology companies.
Sky’s sales house Sky Media will now offer its clients access to Sharethrough’s native advertising software. Last year Sky became the first UK media brand to work with Sharethrough to offer native advertising on skysports.com.
Jamie West, Deputy Managing Director, Sky Media, said: ‘This investment in Sharethrough builds on our leadership in advertising innovation which we’ve already established with Sky AdSmart, enabling us to offer even more options to advertisers on Sky.’
Dan Greenberg, Founder & CEO, Sharethrough, adds: ‘Partnering with Sky is our latest step in advancing Sharethrough’s vision to help publishers around the world find new revenue streams across all platforms, especially mobile. There is already a rapid shift towards native, in-feed monetization as a key revenue driver for all publishers in all markets. Our industry-leading software will enable publishers and their brand clients to deliver content programs at scale.”
Sky’s $5m investment was part of a larger strategic round totalling $10m, which included current Sharethrough investors such as FLOODGATE, Elevation Partners, North Bridge Venture Partners, and Silver Creek Ventures.
Previous Sky investments have included Roku, the immersive 360 video specialists Jaunt and the video delivery firm 1 Mainstream. Earlier this year, Sky opened up a dedicated office in San Francisco to help it continue to forge new partnership with tech startups.