European TV and broadband company Liberty Global today announced it is working on a new addressable TV advertising offering with advanced TV ad tech company Cadent. The new offering does not have a release schedule yet, but Liberty Global has announced that it will be deployed first by its subsidiary Virgin Media in the UK.
Cadent says “Advanced TV Platform” includes server-side ad insertion which doesn’t require much of the business logic or creative assets to physically sit within set-top boxes, being largely handled on the cloud instead. The company also says the platform handles execution across a range of platforms and formats including household addressable, network DVR (digital video recorder), IP live, and set-top box and IP delivered video on-demand (VOD), with unified and normalised reporting.
Liberty Global has already tested the waters with addressable advertising, but previously this has been confined to separate initiatives and collaborations run by its subsidiaries. Virgin Media last year signed up to Sky’s addressable TV advertising platform AdSmart, while in Belgium, Liberty Global-owned Telenet has used INVIDI technology to run addressable TV ads for channel operator SBS.
It seems that Liberty Global will try to make this new platform work alongside these existing addressable TV advertising products. The company says Cadent’s platform has open APIs (application programming interfaces) which can integrate with third-party systems, including Sky’s AdSmart.
But if the roll out is successful, it would also extend addressable advertising capabilities for the first time to some of Liberty Global’s other subsidiaries, in markets including Poland, Slovakia and Switzerland.
This might take time though as Liberty Global grapples with the same issues around regulations which have faced other international businesses who have bought out addressable TV solutions. Telenet’s addressable TV trial in Belgium was held up by privacy complaints, and Liberty Global might expect to face similar challenges in other markets at it navigates divergent rules around use of data for TV advertising.
Liberty Global’s managing director of advanced advertising and data John Paul emphasised that the company sees addressable TV advertising as an important part of its strategy going forward. “Liberty Global is focused on enabling advertising experiences that improve outcomes for both our content partners and customers,” he said. “Not only does addressable TV enable today’s national brand advertisers to reach target audiences more effectively, it also enables first-time or more regionally focused businesses to benefit from TV in ways never before possible.”