Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Sky Media announces array of innovations and initiatives at ‘Bigger Picture’ industry upfronts

At an Upfronts last Friday, Sky Media, the advertising arm of Sky, revealed several initiatives to a senior agency audience.

Amongst the updates, Sky Media announced a scaled ‘world-leading’ 4 million household viewing panel, an enhanced digital proposition including new TikTok, Global and LADbible partnerships, as well as the unveiling of Voice Ads, Sky Live Video Booth, Contextual Targeting and a £1m ‘Generation Arts’ initiative.

New Formats:

·       Contextual Targeting: For the first time across thousands of hours of content advertisers will be able to align ad placement using granular lever context formed using written, audio and visual metadata created using advanced AI. Over 5,000 pieces of VOD content have been scanned and tagged against the IAB content taxonomy so far. Each tag uniquely includes a sentiment score to identify positive and negative moments for advertisers to align their messages with. Advertiser tests are start in 2024.

·       Voice Ads: In the last year, voice searches on Sky have risen 400%, Sky are developing advertising opportunities where a user can give voice commands via remote or Sky Glass during an ad, signalled by an on-screen prompt. The user is then taken to a page dedicated to the advertiser, hosted in the interface.

·       Sky Live / Video Booth: Sky Live is a new interactive camera for Sky Glass which turns your TV into an all-round gaming, fitness and video experience. Sky is opening it up to advertisers, starting with Video Booth which allows brands to create custom-branded filters for users to interact in an immersive and playful environment.

Sky Media Generation Arts Project:

With the hangover from lockdown and the cost-of-living crisis, increasingly schools can’t afford to offer young people support in arts subjects. In the last 10 years enrolment in arts GCSEs has fallen by 40% and the number of arts teachers has plummeted. 

With fewer young people involved, how can we ensure the arts survive for the next generation? At the event Sky Media together with Sky Arts announced the launch of the ‘Generation Arts Project’, offering up to £1m in media value for brands, agencies and organisations to pitch for to help bridge the ‘GAP’ for both funding and youth engagement.

Karin Seymour – Director of Client and Marketing, Sky Media said: “We want to see brilliant content ideas that support the next generation of artists and engage the next generation of arts lovers. So whether it’s about encouraging more young people to read or draw; or making the arts fun and accessible; or shining a light on young talent, we want your help to keep creativity alive.” 

Digital Partnerships

TikTok Pulse: Sky Sports has been announced as the first UK partner of TikTok Pulse, a contextual advertising solution on the social platform which allows agencies and advertisers access directly through Sky Media.

New Digital partners: As well as Sport and News, Sky Media are building more reach through digital partnerships in the entertainment, lifestyle and kids space. Partners of Sky Media will now get advertising access to content from Freemantle (Britain’s Got Talent), Global (Heart, Capital) LADbible and Joe Media- helping advertisers to engage audiences with video across a broader range of genres.

Data Innovations

4m ‘World-leading’ Viewing Panel: Sky Media are scaling their household viewing panel from 3m homes to 4m, allowing increased match rates and more viewing information across all UK TV channels and including new viewing platforms including Sky Glass and Sky Stream.

New ‘CFO friendly’ advertising effectiveness tool: using over 10 years of campaign effectiveness learnings to build an interactive, “CFO-friendly tool” to help agencies and advertisers make better, data-driven decisions that lead to more efficient and more effective campaigns.

AdSmart Eco-conscious attributes:  AdSmart now allows advertisers to reach audiences that value environmental factors, including climate change, pollution and recycling. Advertisers will also be able to identify individuals that are more likely to consider social matters such as community and human capital concerns, as well as governance issues including workplace ethics.

Related articles