ITV reveals plans for addressable TV pilot in Q2 2018

ITV first detailed its plans to launch an addressable solution in May

ITV has revealed its addressable advertising plans, having signed a partnership with Sorenson Media which will come to fruition across its linear TV plans in 2018.

The technology provided by Sorenson Media will allow ITV to target willing smart TV viewers on a more relevant, personal level across the channel’s TV portfolio through the use of anonymized targeting data.

In a statement announcing the partnership, Kelly Williams, managing director, ITV Commercial, said: “This partnership with Sorenson Media is the first step in allowing us to deliver to advertisers the best of both worlds – TV’s unique ability to deliver mass audiences alongside more data-driven targeting.”

Added Brian Jentz, Sorenson Media’s senior vice president of EMEA: “Sorenson Media is excited to partner with market leader ITV to help advertisers better reach their audience while providing more relevant and meaningful ad experiences for viewers. Audiences will now be able to watch ads which are more personalised to them, and increasingly engaging.”

The initial pilot is currently scheduled to take place during Q2 next year.

The partnership goes some way in explaining why ITV has decided not to partner with existing addressable TV solutions, including Sky AdSmart, the biggest addressable solution in the UK market, and GroupM’s Finecast, launched in September.

At launch Finecast’s chief executive Jakob Nielsen told The Drum that ITV was missing from the mix because of “technical limitations”.

He said: “They need to have an ad server that can plug into our demand system. That is an integration that needs to be made and that ad server needs to be capable of doing that. Sky and Channel 4 have already gone on that journey, ITV is a little bit behind, but they are growing – it is a matter of time.”

Instead it appears ITV, which is the UK’s biggest free-to-air commercial broadcaster, is looking to build out its own addressable TV solution to rival that of other players, which Simon Daglish, ITV’s deputy managing director for its commercial division, previously told The Drum it is looking to deliver in May 2018.

But Nielsen said at the time he was confident that even should ITV launch its own addressable product, it will integrate with Finecast to “scale” that product.

“They want access to all our clients. They can teach us a lot, and we can teach them a lot,” he said.

Stephen Lepitak

Stephen Lepitak is editor of The Drum, with responsibility for overseeing the day-to-day running of the content produced for the various platforms run by the publication. Over the years he has interviewed agency network bosses such as Sir Martin Sorrell, Maurice Lévy and Arthur Sadoun, as well as Cindy Gallop, Kim Kardashian, film directors James Cameron, Spike Jonze, Richard Curtis and Lord David Puttnam. With a keen interest in media and breaking news, Lepitak has been with The Drum since 2005 and is based across its UK, US and Asia operations.

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