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Channel 4 first UK broadcaster to embrace real-time bidding on VOD inventory

Channel 4 has become the first UK broadcaster to take the plunge into automated real-time bidding for advertising slots

Channel 4 is claiming to be the first UK broadcaster to facilitate the purchase of digital ad space programmatically using real-time bidding with the launch of All4 Private marketplace.

A one-stop shop for advertisers, the marketplace facilitates brands wishing to buy space on the video-on-demand (VOD) service through private programmatic auctions.

Channel 4 has become the first UK broadcaster to take the plunge into automated real-time bidding for advertising slots, an innovation it hopes can streamline the process of allocating ad space around some 14,500 hours of content.

Slashing the time required to cut a deal into the millisecond range, the automated auctions will also empower advertisers wishing to reach audiences of specific genres, demographics and devices by tailoring their investment in real-time to meet objectives.

In this way, advertisers can jostle for the attention of the streaming service’s 25 million registered viewers, including 80% of 16-34-year-olds in the UK, drawn to shows such as It’s A Sin, Gogglebox and Hollyoaks.

The programmatic marketplace dovetails with the network’s Future4 strategy, which sets out a roadmap for delivering 30% of all revenues from digital advertising by 2025. In 2020 the broadcaster generated digital ad revenues of £161m, equivalent to 17% of total revenue and an 11% increase compared to 2019.

Verica Djurdjevic, chief revenue officer at Channel 4, said: “The launch of All 4 private marketplace represents the next generation of broadcaster digital ad innovation offering brands complete flexibility to advertise around high-quality content on All 4 and improved access to our young engaged viewers.

“Channel 4 has always been at the leading edge of the latest adtech available, which is significantly contributing to the delivery of our Future4 strategy and digital growth as we continue to diversify new revenue streams and strike new strategic partnerships that enable us to compete more effectively.”

Channel 4 prides itself on its adtech-agnostic approach, leaving the choice of transaction tools to advertisers such as Deliveroo, Dentsu International, MIQ, Omnicom Media Group UK and Publicis Media.

This follows the introduction of several data-driven targeting options such as Brandm4tch, which enables firms to target customers in a GDPR-compliant and cookie-free manner.

All 4 Private Marketplace has been delivered with support from The Trade Desk on the demand side and Freewheel on the supply side.

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