Sky Invests $10 Million in Programmatic Ad Tech Firm DataXu

Sky HQ H 2015
AP Images/Invision

The pan-European pay TV giant has been investing in a slew of technology companies.

Pan-European pay TV giant Sky said Monday it has invested $10 million in DataXu, a Boston-based provider of programmatic advertising analytics software.

The deal is the latest example of Sky taking a stake in technology companies, including in the U.S. The companies didn't detail how big a stake Sky will hold in the U.S. firm.

Programmatic marketing is the automated, data-driven planning and trading of advertising media devices and formats. DataXu partners with advertisers and media agencies to help them engage more efficiently and effectively with consumers across devices. It says its platform has the capability to "analyze and optimize buying decisions on over 100 billion digital advertising opportunities every day around the globe." Sky said it will benefit from the company's expertise both as an advertiser and investor. 

Sky’s advertising sales unit, Sky Media, will work with DataXu to explore new opportunities, including extending the reach of Sky Media’s Sky AdVance product, which enables multiplatform ad campaigns, and helping advertisers to buy addressable TV ads programmatically.

Said Jamie West, deputy managing director at Sky Media: "This investment will help us develop a deeper understanding of programmatic advertising and play our part in shaping the market as it progresses. Combining Sky’s knowledge, experience and innovation in advertising with DataXu’s programmatic marketing expertise will provide exciting opportunities for both businesses, and most importantly, for Sky’s advertising partners."

Said Mike Baker, DataXu co-founder and CEO: "This strategic investment allows DataXu to partner with a true, global leader in television and media. DataXu and Sky have strong alignment on the future of programmatic and advanced television, and this investment ensures our two companies continue to learn and grow together."

Sky's other recent investments have included deals with OTT video company TV4 Entertainment and online video aggregator Pluto TV. It previously has also invested in a number of pioneering U.S. tech companies, including online sports network Whistle Sports, IP streaming service provider Roku and cinematic virtual-reality company Jaunt.

21st Century Fox owns a 39 percent stake in Sky.