Europeâs old media forge ad pacts in fight with Facebook, Google
In Britain, rival pay-TV operators Sky Plc and Virgin Media are combining information on customers to offer advertisers more insight into viewers and give them better-targeted ads. AFP In an effort to retain advertisers and slow the advance of Google and Facebook, European broadcasters are setting aside traditional rivalries to forge alliances that offer wider reach for ads and Internet-style data about audiences. Germanys ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE has joined forces to sell digital-video ads with Television Francaise 1 SA and Italys Mediaset SpA. In France, SFR Group SA and Metropole Television SAs M6 have teamed up with publishers and ecommerce sites. And in Britain, rival pay-TV operators Sky Plc and Virgin Media are combining information on customers to offer advertisers more insight into viewers and give them better-targeted ads. The tie-ups come as digital rivals are on track to attract more ad spending globally than traditional TV for the first time this year, according to ad agency Zenith. WPP Plc, the worlds largest advertising company, says Google has become the top forum for its clients ads, and Facebook Inc could soon be No 2. The stakes are so high that they need this to work, said David Elms, a partner at consultants KPMG LLP in London. They need to aggregate their data to provide the rich insights that are increasingly demanded by advertisers. While European television networks havent been hit as hard as their US counterparts by cable-TV cord-cutting, Internet-based competitors are catching up. YouTube and Netflix Inc, which entered the UK in 2012, still rank behind streaming services from the BBC and ITV in adult viewing, according to communications regulator Ofcom. And Sky remains the market leader in the top five European markets, with about 21.5 million subscribers, followed by Netflix with 10.8 million, while Amazon is in fifth, according to Enders Analysis estimates.
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