Sky is to launch its new AdSmart service on its Sky Player early next year, giving TV advertisers the chance to target commercials at consumers based on their location and opt-in preferences. The service will combine customer information, for example postcode or chosen Sky package, with information from external sources such as customer surveys. Sky will then use this information to customise ad slots around a particular programme so that different ads are seen in different households. AdSmart will initially run on Sky Player’s online line-up of on-demand programmes, with plans to extend the service to live channels on Sky Player in the future.
Following its introduction on Sky Player, Sky plans to extend Sky AdSmart to linear channels broadcast via Sky+HD boxes in 2011. This will mark the debut of mass-market targeted advertising on linear TV in the UK.
To allay privacy fears, Sky has said that information will be managed in accordance with customers’ stated preferences and customers will have the opportunity to choose not to participate in Sky AdSmart.
With TV adspend falling steeply, and media planners questionning the effectiveness of TV ads in a time-shifted market, this may be the only way to protect Sky’s revenues. Today we reported on how TV advertising has been overtaken by web advertising in the UK -the first country in the world where this is the case. Dynamically targeting television advertising could put TV back on the media planner’s agenda.