NBCUniversal, Sky Combine Advanced Advertising Services

SKY headquarters in Isleworth on May 9, 2017 - Getty-H 2018
Leon Neal/Getty Images

The global expansion of Sky's AdSmart will combine its addressable advertising tools with the targeting solutions of NBC's Audience Studio.

Comcast's entertainment arm NBCUniversal and its European pay TV business Sky are bringing together their advanced advertising services.

The move marks the first joint advertising initiative following Comcast's $39 billion acquisition of Sky late last year.

NBCUniversal and Sky on Monday unveiled the plan for a global expansion of Sky's AdSmart, which will combine its addressable advertising tools with the targeting solutions of NBC's Audience Studio.

"Over the years, Sky has built a suite of advanced advertising tools, and we’re excited to share them with international marketers in the United States," said Andrew Griffith, group COO of Sky. "Together with NBCUniversal we’re launching a global product unlike anything the market has seen before, that combines the quality and reach of TV with best-in-class addressability."

Added Linda Yaccarino, chairman of advertising and partnerships at NBCUniversal: "The world is getting smaller, and the opportunity for international marketers to make an impact with consumers is getting bigger. The industry has demanded a global premium video offering, and now, one will finally exist."

The companies also said: "The holistic offering will enable global brands and businesses to easily activate targeting and optimization solutions to reach customers in key international markets and measure results across NBCU and Sky’s extensive TV and digital portfolio."

Detailing the benefits, they highlighted the opportunity of linear optimization, which will allow NBCU and Sky to "enable advertisers to optimize their linear spend against a rich selection of consumer segments for enhanced delivery to target audiences through the unparalleled reach of national TV, leveraging Comcast set-top box data in the U.S. and Sky set-top box data in the U.K. for a total data set of more than 50 million households."

Addressable TV is another benefit the companies touted, saying they can "enable advertisers to target precise consumer segments through addressable video for ads delivered directly to target households through highly engaging long-form content."

Digital targeting, which focuses on consumer segments across digital platforms, and contextual alignment are the other advanced ad opportunities that NBCU and Sky highlighted. For the latter, NBCU is piloting AI-powered media planning for TV, "aligning brand messaging with highly relevant scenes across national programming to enhance ad effectiveness and give consumers a more organic viewing experience," they said.