Sky forks out $10m in DataXu investment

Sky has invested $10m in US-based programmatic advertising company DataXu with the broadcasting outfit receiving equity shares in exchange for the sum, as it ­seeks to establish itself as a key player in helping brands better chart the customer journey.

As part of the deal, the broadcaster’s sales team Sky Media will work closely with DataXu to help media buyers to better optimise their campaign planning and execution by extending the reach of its own ad buying products such as Sky AdVance. This includes bringing programmatic media buying techniques to the TV sector.

Sky Media has taken great strides to position itself as the leading UK broadcaster in the programmatic ad buying space, having recently paired with programmatic video ad buying outfit Videology.

This pairing led to a new digital inventory system that allowed it to better manage its inventory, such as better controlling the frequency Sky’s audiences are exposed to ads across multiple platforms, as part of its Sky AdVance offering.

Jamie West, deputy MD at Sky Media, said the investment will help it develop a deeper understanding of programmatic advertising.

He added: “Combining Sky’s knowledge, experience and innovation in advertising with DataXu’s programmatic marketing expertise will provide exciting opportunities for both businesses, and most importantly, for Sky’s advertising partners.”

Mike Baker, DataXu co-founder and CEO, said: “This strategic investment allows DataXu to partner with a true, global leader in television and media. DataXu and Sky have strong alignment on the future of programmatic and advanced television; and this investment ensures our two companies continue to learn and grow together.”

This partnership follows recent Sky investments in other video outifts TV4 Entertainment and online video aggregator Pluto TV, and follows its recent positioning of Sky Media as partner for advertisers to work with in the media planning process – as opposed to a mere media supplier.

To do so, the media sales house is now using data-led customer insights to bring more parity to the media dynamic, giving buyers the option to overlay its data to execute both on Sky’s media channels, as well as its other digital properties such as YouTube, etc.

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