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Channel 4 confirms it will be joining AdSmart

Last week Channel 4 announced they will join AdSmart, giving them the same capabilities as Sky channels to serve different adverts to different households via linear TV.

As part of the deal, Channel 4’s owned channels, plus partners UKTV and BT Sport, is to bring targeted and addressable advertising to their portfolio – capabilities they previously only had via BVOD on the All4 platform.

Channel 4’s CCO Jonathan Allen confirmed that go-live timings were to be confirmed pending ongoing technical work, but that the broadcaster was excited to “collaborate to deliver more innovation and value to advertisers”.

Channel 4 will be the first broadcaster outside of Sky’s sales portfolio (which includes Viacom, Discovery, A+E Networks and NBCUniversal) to become a part of the AdSmart technology. There is currently no steer on whether C4 will be independently pricing their own AdSmart pricing or whether it will be in any way competitive to Sky channels.

All Response Media viewpoint
This announcement demonstrates a marked shift in the collaboration efforts between two of the UK’s biggest broadcasters.  As discussed in our recent ARM Weekly article, AdSmart is still unlikely to make commercial sense for the majority of brands, largely driven by the significantly higher traded CPTs versus linear.

However, it is likely to offer advertisers some new opportunities across the C4 network, such as:

  • Quicker scalability and opportunity to deliver higher volumes than Sky stations insert: This could be a great option for an advertiser with a short campaign (such as a 24hr sale or promotion) to build reach quickly across its target audience
  • Opportunity for a more refined geo-target: For example, at present, if a Yorkshire-based business wanted to advertise within a 1hr drive time of Yorkshire on Channel 4, their only options outside of BVOD would be to buy Channel 4 North, which would incur wastage.
  • Opportunity to access key content with a smaller budget – for example for an advertiser who wants to access the Great British Bake Off, a national spot will cost in the region of £50k, and AdSmart could open the opportunity to access the program with a smaller budget, in a more targeted way with less wastage

All in all, it looks to be an exciting time for broadcasters working collaboratively to create a more targeted television product. ITV has been rumoured to have had similar discussions, and if this happens it could potentially change the entire TV trading model in the longer term.

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