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Channel 4 to offer 100% ad targeting across All 4 platform, seeking partners for linear equivalent

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By Jessica Goodfellow | Media Reporter

November 14, 2017 | 4 min read

Advertisers will be able to target viewers across the full set of Channel 4's video-on-demand (VOD) platforms for the first time in 2018 as UK broadcasters step up efforts to offer an addressable TV solution that resembles the efficiency of digital ad serving.

The broadcaster is claiming it will become the first UK broadcaster to offer '100% targeted advertising' across its on-demand platform, All 4. This will include the ability to target advertising across mobile, tablets, games consoles and big screens such as YouView and Samsung TVs.

Channel 4 is promising advertisers 100% targeting on All4

Channel 4 is promising advertisers 100% targeting on All4

To do this, the broadcaster will capture first party data on all All 4 viewers early in the new year when mandatory registration is required across all platforms. This will extend the scale of personalisation and targeting All 4 currently offers - based on viewers’ age, gender, location, interests and behaviour.

The initiative will be revealed at its Upfronts event later today (14 November), where it will also announce a slate of new programming for 2018.

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Channel 4's digital business is now valued at £100m+, with programmatically traded, data-led targeted advertising representing 75% of digital revenues.

The ability to target viewers on video-on-demand (VOD) is one part of the addressable TV puzzle, where linear targeting still remains a challenge.

Targeted advertising on linear is much more complex than that of VOD, due to the various broadcast rules and contexts to consider in real-time. In April Sky told The Drum that there is currently “no technology that is able to think about those things in one go and fill an ad break programmatically”. That tech requires a huge amount of resource to build, a challenge for traditional broadcasters that have limited revenue to commit to new initiatives.

Which is why ITV signed a partnership with Sorenson Media last week (9 November), in order to offer advertisers the ability to target linear viewers on smart TVs.

Channel 4 is similarly looking to strike a partnership with a technology partner, which could include Sorenson Media, YouView or Sky AdSmart, in order to progress targeted advertising on traditional linear TV.

Channel 4 is also a partner of GroupM's global addressable TV outfit, Finecast, launched in September.

Jonathan Lewis, head of digital and partnership innovation at Channel 4, said: “From next year every All 4 advertising opportunity will be personalised or targeted, which has proven success for brands reflected in our double-digit year-on-year revenue growth for the last several years. And All 4 continues to grow as record-breaking numbers of registered viewers loyally return to the biggest range of entertainment on any on-demand service available for free.”

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