BSkyB to launch targeted advertising this summer

Sky EPGBSkyB is to use its connected set-top box inventory to launch targeted advertising to its customer base this summer.Branded as AdSmart the technology stores the adverts on the set-top box and then delivers different adverts to different households watching the same live programme using criteria selected by the advertiser.

The technology belongs in part to Cisco’s Videoscape Unity Advertising Suite, previously known as NDS Dynamic.

“A high street bank could show an ISA commercial to high income homes and at the same time a current account message to others,” CFO Andrew Griffith told an analyst briefing coinciding with BSkyB’s six-month results. “We’re only able to do this because we have a wholly owned and operated connected box platform and we only have the inventory to sell advertisers because of the breath and channels of content that attracts valuable audiences.”

Conversations with agencies are already underway.

The launch of AdSmart over set-top boxes was touted for a launch as early as 2011, BSkyB having launched an online equivalent the previous year.

As of December 31, 2012 there were 1,715,000 Sky+ HD boxes connected to the internet.

Griffith said he expected that AdSmart would be able to grow the overall segment, opening up opportunities for regional, hyper-local and specialty brands that were currently excluded from the current advertising model.