Addressable TV Media Virgin Media

Virgin Media sets date to run addressable TV ads through 'game changer' Sky AdSmart


By John McCarthy, Opinion editor

March 27, 2019 | 4 min read

Virgin Media's addressable TV partnership with Sky's AdSmart is set to go live 1 July in the UK to follow in Ireland in the final quarter of the year.

Virgin Media

Virgin Media to join Sky AdSmart addressable TV network

Although the telecom giants compete to attract customers to their quadplay packages, behind the scenes Virgin is joining AdSmart system to build the network's reach to 30m viewers.

AdSmart enables advertisers to buy TV at scale across linear and video on demand formats. Campaigns can be tailored by household to specific audiences in select locations. The feature that looks to improve the effectiveness of TV advertising and modernise the format to compete with digital advertising.

Sky Media will serve as exclusive advertising sales agents across the entire AdSmart network in the UK. In delivering the ads, Virgin Media use both AdSmart and tech developed by its parent company Liberty Global. Virgin will trial AdSmart on its free-to-air TV channel, Virgin Media One, in the Republic of Ireland at the end of the year.

Pat Kiely, managing director of Virgin Media Television, said: “This is a very exciting time as we count down to the launch of the next generation of television advertising across our network. Our partnership with Sky will ensure that television advertisers, new and old, will have access to an extended reach of 30m targetable TV viewers in the UK. AdSmart is truly a game changer for our industry and we’re delighted to play our part by adding scale and building on its current momentum.

“I’m also delighted to confirm that our free-to-air channels in Ireland are almost ready to go live. With Virgin Media TV now representing the biggest share of commercial impacts in Ireland, this is a major breakthrough. When added to the Sky advertising portfolio, AdSmart will be accessible across 60% of commercial viewership in Ireland.”

In 2017, the tech was opened up to broadcasters across Europe. It was pitched as a way for broadcasters to build up the scale to rival that of Facebook and Google, across the board increasing the relevance of ads. It also boasts Viacom as a partner.

But there's an additional benefit to the tech being floating by Sky, its targeting can be used to run more inclusive creative around underserved holidays like Ramadan to audiences that have historically not been catered to.

Jamie West, Sky’s group director of Advanced Advertising, added: “This partnership with Virgin Media brings advertisers even more scale and opportunity to reach TV audiences in a trusted, brand-safe and measurable way. With the recent announcement that AdSmart will be going global with NBC Universal in the US, AdSmart is quickly becoming the one-stop shop for reaching consumers around the world within a premium video environment.”

Adsmart first launched in 2014.

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