Media Future of TV Future of Media

Trade Desk makes Sky Media VOD ad inventory available programmatically for first time


By John McCarthy | Media editor

May 10, 2021 | 4 min read

Adtech experts The Trade Desk (TTD) has signed a milestone partnership with Sky Media to make the TV giant’s video on-demand inventory available in the open market for the first time. Those using one of the world’s largest DSPs will be able to buy the video spots programmatically, a big shift in the world of TV buying.

Sky Media

Trade Desk deal makes Sky Media VOD ad inventory available programmatically for first time

The move, called for in a recent report from Enders Analysis exploring the modernization of TV buying, will allow advertisers to use TTD’s tech to reach audiences across Sky Media’s premium portfolio. The broadcaster boasts 23 million subscribers across its 300+ channels.

In the UK TTD has unlocked access to Sky and Channel 4, which the press release calls “two out of three of the UK’s biggest broadcasters”. That excludes ITV, which has built its Planet V buying program and is inviting other broadcasters to join the mix.

Access to the inventory will be enabled by owner Comcast’s Freewheel, which it says gives the broadcaster “enhanced access to some of the world’s most prominent brands and finest media agencies”. It boasts that “one of the world’s largest consumer goods business” has been trading in the platform already.

TTD says the integration offers advertisers simpler, easier ad-buying with real-time reporting, transparency of impressions, reach and frequency. And new to broadcaster video-on-demand advertising (BVOD), and a common gripe from viewers and buyers, is ad frequency control and capping. In some cases viewers were seeing the same ad multiple times in the same breaks.

Phil Duffield, UK vice president at TTD, said: “Connected TV is widely recognised as one of the most exciting developments in advertising today [recent ad spend figures here] – now supercharged by the power of programmatic data. We are thrilled to be able to announce our latest partnership with Sky Media.

“With the help of our technology, brands can enjoy the benefits of digital on a premium channel, while broadcasters can grow revenue by learning what each impression is truly worth. This integration represents a significant expansion for The Trade Desk in the UK in terms of CTV access for our clients. With Sky, we are at the beginning of a very exciting partnership – watch this space for greater collaboration to come.”

Dev Sangani, director of capabilities at Sky Media, said the partnership will evolve to give advertisers full access to Sky Media’s portfolio of content, perhaps beyond solely VOD. “We will enable buyers to reap the benefits of the targeting and flexibility of programmatic with privacy at the forefront.”

Sky Media claims to reach more than 95% of the UK population. As part of the wider Comcast family, with roughly 50 million customers, the deal has wide-reaching implications for BVOD buying.

The Drum took a deep dive into the Future of TV this month. Don’t forget to sign up for our Future of Media briefing here.

Media Future of TV Future of Media

More from Media

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +