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C4 and Trade Desk partnership driving data-driven TV boom

Back in 2015, Channel 4 was the first broadcaster in Europe to have developed a programmatic trading platform for its on-demand TV service. However, whilst impressive, it did not offer real-time bidding (RTB) in the same way that Google or Facebook did. Rather, agencies or advertisers committed money upfront to C4 and were given a certain number of impressions for a fixed cost per thousand (CPM) – therefore not akin to the open auction buying that users were hoping for.

In mid-2019, the hunt for an open exchange partner began. C4 posted a job role on LinkedIn which detailed how they intended to build a new marketplace for its programmatic inventory that will bring how it sells video on demand to advertisers more in line with the way they buy video ads from online ad actions.

Now after a year of searching, it seems the hunt is over. Earlier this month The Trade Desk announced a partnership with C4 that offers advertisers the ability to target 23 million viewers at scale, across its live and on-demand service. Channel 4’s All4 on-demand service runs on twenty platforms, with 100% of its audience logged in and an ad completion rate of 96%.

The partnership has only been made possible by implementing key regulatory standards via programmatic technology. The Trade Desk will transfer a Clearcast clock number throughout the bidstream, thereby providing transparency on the provenance of every ad to meet product and age-specific advertising rules.

Patrick Morrell, Director of EMEA Partnerships at The Trade Desk has expressed his excitement at the association, running through how this benefits brands moving forward:

“As advertisers recognise the data-driven potential of connected TV (CTV) advertising to maximise ad relevance and improve the viewer experience, this partnership with Channel 4 represents a further boost in their ability to execute,” adding, “Broadening access to Channel 4’s inventory for brands across the open internet means better targeting for brands and greater revenue for broadcasters.”

The rise of data-driven TV has been fuelled by users increasingly watching TV content through connected devices, allowing broadcasters to show ads in a way that has not been possible with traditional, linear TV. The partnership between The Trade Desk and C4 will, in theory, facilitate more precision and relevance in digital advertising, improving both the experience for the customer and the value for the advertiser, the two companies claim.

All Response Media viewpoint

Lockdown triggered an acceleration of consumers signing up to internet-based services such as Netflix and All4. We must stay abreast of the new developments and opportunities being pushed in this space.

Currently, broadcaster VOD activity does still cost more than linear TV programming and therefore linear TV will still be the superior choice. However, the difference in performance between the two is getting ever closer together, with further audience and targeting capabilities being layered on top. Therefore, when planning campaigns, we will always scope out the alternatives, ensuring we are delivering the best possible performance for every individual campaign.

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