UK telcos plot audience measurement and ad sales platform

UK telcos plot audience measurement and ad sales platform

The UK’s major telecoms companies, Virgin Media O2, BT/EE and Vodafone/Three, are set to launch an audience measurement and ad sales platform.

Digital Audience Data Ltd (DAD) was incorporated in June 2023, according to a Companies House filing.

DAD has two key focuses. First, it seeks to leverage the operators’ data to create a more “modern” audience currency in the UK.

Secondly, it plans to be a “one-stop shop” that sells directly to advertisers and agencies.

In an opinion piece for The Media Leader, Andrew Cole, who is listed as the sole company director of DAD, discussed the need for the proposition and provided more details of the new entity.

Cole argued that Barb, the industry audience measurement body, is “not fit for purpose”, with its use of panels “old-fashioned”. In addition, “being owned by the broadcasters, advertisers will always worry that an invisible hand is tipping the scales”.

A Barb spokesperson told The Media Leader: “As referenced in Tuesday’s article by our CEO, Justin Sampson, Barb is not just owned and run for broadcasters. The IPA is a pivotal funder that represents the interests of buyers of advertising.

“The article also refers to Barb Panel Plus, which we formally launched as a tender process last month. This initiative will ensure that our high-quality panel data continues to be enhanced by big-data sources, which mitigate the risks of data variability.”

Cole is a board member of Liberty Global, the owner of Virgin Media O2. He was also one of the original co-founders of GB News alongside fellow Liberty Global executive Mark Schneider, before resigning as directors and selling their holdings to Sir Paul Marshall and Legatum.

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