Sky announced today that it has invested $10 million in DataXu, a programmatic ad tech company that provides analytics, data management and media buying technology. A Sky statement said that Sky’s advertising sales division, Sky Media, will work closely with DataXu to extend the reach of Sky Media’s Sky AdVance; to help advertisers addressable TV ads programmatically; and to work on data and analytics.
Sky have been investing in numerous companies either directly involved or on the periphery of the TV industry, including OTT video company TV4 Entertainment and online video aggregator Pluto TV. Sky has previously invested in a number of other pioneering US technology companies, including the leading online sports network Whistle Sports, OTT provider Roku and Jaunt, a cinematic virtual reality company.
Sky’s strategy is similar in some respects to that being pursued by RTL Group, who have taken stakes in SpotX, a video SSP, VideoAmp, a video DSP, and in various multichannel networks (MCNs) such as Stylehaul and BroadbandTV.
The investments are motivated by the TV industry’s desire to: (a) to deepen their relationships with ad tech companies who don’t also compete with them on the media side; (b) have the opportunity to customise the technology according to their requirements. Multiplatform TV is a highly complicated business and it cookie-cutter online SSP/ad servers typicaly aren’t up to cross-platform delivery, which has to make sense of up to four ad servers, highly diverse data-sets and multiple platforms. (c) to make a play in a part of the digital world where TV operators and broadcasters already understand and can add value.
Sky recently announced a partnership with Videology that will focus on mainly on optimisation and unifying the various platforms Sky works across, and the company also works with FreeWheel.