Sky's targeted advertising – 2010 launch date


Yesterday Sky provided further details of its targeted advertising product for its broadband TV service SkyPlayer, launching early 2010. Called SkyAdSmart, viewers will be treated to ‘more relevant’ advertising messages around programmes. It will do this by gaining intelligence on viewers through a number of information sources: postcode, Sky packages subscribed and, in their words ‘additional external sources.’

What this means is that people can be watching the same programme on SkyPlayer but watching different ads. For example, car manufacturers can target different models to the different needs and tasted of individuals: are you a sports car, a SUV or a people carrier type of person…?

Although it is only available on SkyPlayer and for on-demand programmes, Sky have also expressed a desire to place SkyAdSmart technology into the streaming of live programmes and within their Sky+ HD boxes (the latter have an ethernet connection and so are set up for this rollout).

On the day that the IAB announced that online Ad spend has overtaken TV spend this is welcome news for a beleagured TV industry. However, it’s unlikely to help the terrestrial channels in the immediate future as once again it is Sky holding the reins of power (or rather the technical means of ad delivery). And from a consumer and an advertiser’s point of view we’ll have to wait and see – it’s going to require plenty of constantly updated information on viewers to be truly targeted. 

And it’s slightly scary given how much the Murdoch Empire already controls.