Andrew Griffith: Sky AdSmart 1,000 campaigns later

Andrew Griffith: chief financial officer and managing director of commercial businesses, Sky
Andrew Griffith: chief financial officer and managing director of commercial businesses, Sky

Andrew Griffith, chief financial officer and managing director of commercial businesses at Sky, on the first 1,000 AdSmart campaigns, and Sky's plans for the future.

When we launched Sky AdSmart, our tailored advertising service, one year ago in January 2014, we believed we had the opportunity to change the TV advertising market as we knew it.

By enabling advertisers to better target their campaigns, Sky AdSmart opens TV advertising to brands who may previously have thought TV too broad a medium. 

It works by using publicly available information to identify groups or demographics, and then serves TV ads that are best suited to those households.

For their part, viewers see no more ads than before, simply ones that are more relevant to them. The idea of tailoring advertising in this way is hugely attractive to advertisers – and you can see it in the numbers.

One year in, we have delivered 1,000 campaigns from 357 advertisers. At our Q1 [July to September 2014] results in October, we announced that Sky AdSmart revenues were up 48 per cent on the previous quarter – significant growth that indicates just how fast it’s caught on.

As we think about the future, the really exciting statistic is one that shows that of those advertisers to have used Sky Adsmart to date, more than three quarters had not previously advertised on TV or were new to Sky. This demonstrates the way that Sky AdSmart is opening up the market. 

In the usual Sky style we haven’t stood still since launch. We developed Sky AdSmart further by launching postcode targeting – making TV advertising a viable option for local businesses, and serving our viewers ads for convenient as well as relevant brands. 

And we have lots more planned for the coming months as we continue to develop and add to the service and its capability.

First, we’re taking Sky AdSmart into on demand. The service began with ad insertion into linear broadcast. But, as we know, viewing habits are changing fast and we’ve seen an explosion in on demand as more of our customers take advantage of the opportunity to watch their favourite content as and when they want.

So it makes sense that we’ll continue to develop the Sky AdSmart capability across all screens and platforms. The first of these will be video-on-demand on the set top box, coming later this spring. 

Second, we’ll continue to expand Sky AdSmart across more channels. Sky AdSmart launched on Sky’s main wholly-owned channels. It has since grown to cover 34 channels, and we’ll continue to explore widening this to encompass additional media partner channels and third parties.

And finally, we’ll add further capabilities to the way we target ads, meaning both viewers and advertisers will continue to benefit from an even more tailored service.

With all we’ve achieved in our first year, I believe the future is looking very bright for Sky AdSmart. Watch this space in 2015.

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