Decipher: UK TV Industry Falling Behind Web Rivals Due to Under-Investment in Ad Tech

Decipher ResearchThe UK TV industry’s failure to adopt more sophisticated ad targeting methods is exposing the industry to the risk of being overtaken by the tech giants, according to a new report published by London-based Decipher Research. The report says that innovation in ad tech is being held back by the failure of the UK’s free TV platforms (Freeview, Freesat and YouView) to invest in data management, integration and ad technology. 

The answer, says Decipher, would be for the creation of a new ad network or exchange aimed at supporting the UK’s free-to-air TV industry, which would enable broadcasters like ITV to run targeted ads on its channels, across all of the platforms that it delivers through, and for each of the platforms to be able to deliver the basics (data, reporting) in a way that complies with an industry standard. A unified platform would also enable broadcasters to manage all of their data assets on an ‘apples to apples’ basis.

However, Decipher also say the UK’s pay TV platforms must share some of the blame, with the failure of Virgin, BT and TalkTalk to invest in TV addressability also hampering progress. 

According to a statement issued by Decipher, “The failure of the UK’s  TV platforms as a group (pay and free) to offer the ad world a believable, cohesive development ad-tech plan is handing advantage to the media agency groups and global web tech companies. Sky being the only game in town [via its AdSmart product] is not healthy and won’t deliver the competitive market we need for the future of TV advertising.”


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