In a significant development for UK addressable TV advertising, Channel 4 is going to use Sky AdSmart to enable addressable TV advertising on its Channel 4 branded broadcast linear channels and the portfolio of third-party channels that 4Sales (the Channel 4 sales house) represents, notably BT Sport and UKTV (whose channels include Dave, Drama, Eden, Gold, Food, Home, Really, W and Yesterday). The deal only covers broadcast linear TV, not streaming. The two companies have not committed to a launch date due to the technical integration work that is needed.
The agreement means that Channel 4 becomes the second public service broadcaster in the UK to become AdSmart-enabled. Channel 5 was first; that channel is owned by Viacom International Media Networks, which Sky Media has represented for a long time.
There are three major sales houses in the UK – ITV Media, Sky Media and C4 Sales – and two of them are now part of the AdSmart ecosystem. AdSmart has now expanded beyond Sky satellite homes to cover the Virgin Media footprint as well, as part of a forward-thinking deal the two Pay TV rivals signed in 2017 and which went live this summer.
All of this adds up to two things: scale and momentum. More of the UK television industry is now making its broadcast linear inventory available for addressable TV advertising at the same time that the household footprint has expanded to around 12 million. The Sky/C4 deal means that over 140 channels can be used with AdSmart.
You can read elsewhere the impact of AdSmart addressable advertising in the UK, based on a five-year study by Sky Media. This analysis shows that addressable advertising increases spontaneous ad recall by 10% compared to linear TV advertising and spontaneous brand awareness increases on average by 4% versus linear advertising (and in certain categories can be as high as 13%).