Sky and Virgin Media have announced a “strategic partnership” which will see them take on social media firms by offering targeted advertising opportunities to brands wanting to reach their combined audiences of 30 million viewers.
In a joint statement the firms say their user bases put them “on par with leading social networks” and stress that their two platforms offer a “trusted, and brand safe environment” to “businesses both big and small”.
The tie-up will cover both linear and video on demand (VOD) TV advertising and leverage Sky’s AdSmart solution which allows advertisers to target specific demographics and audiences, with Virgin Media also making use of technology developed by parent company, Liberty Global.
Today’s announcement follows weeks of growing concern among big brands at how their adverts are sometimes displayed alongside offensive and sometimes extremist material on some social media platforms.
Earlier this year a host of major brands removed advertising from Google’s YouTube amid concerns about content hosted on its service.
Sky and Virgin Media’s partnership is a clear attempt to woo advertisers away from online-focussed rivals and back into the home where content is strictly regulated by Ofcom’s broadcasting standards.
Announcing the deal, Virgin Media’s Chief Executive Tom Mockridge commented: “Quality programming deserves to be supported with quality advertising. In partnering with Sky we’re putting the UK and Ireland at the forefront of TV advertising innovation.
“We’re giving consumers advertising that is more relevant to them and giving brands a trusted destination to deliver intelligent, tailored TV campaigns to a targeted audience.”
Andrew Griffith, Sky’s Group Chief Operating Officer commented: “Addressable TV is the high quality, brand safe and transparent medium that leading brands have already been adopting in their thousands.
“Today’s partnership takes that to the next level with the extension of AdSmart to millions more homes meaning more relevant ads for Virgin customers and a larger platform for advertisers.”