Four broadcasters to join ITV’s ad platform Planet V

Four broadcasters to join ITV’s ad platform Planet V
Left to right at Connected TV World Summit 2023: Jamie West, former Sky Media deputy MD, talking with Rhy McLachlan, director of advanced advertising at ITV.

ITV will have four partners on board its addressable ad buying platform Planet V by the end of this year, two of which are broadcasters based outside of the UK.

Having announced its Scottish partner business STV as a new entrant on to Planet V earlier this month, ITV’s director of advanced advertising Rhys McLachlan has revealed there are now several companies being on-boarded to the self-serve platform.

McLachlan told our Connected TV World Summit conference in London that there would be two domestic partners and two European partners active on the platform by the end of 2023. He quipped that there have been lots of “trips on Eurostar” to discuss opportunities with other broadcasters further afield.

ITV launched Planet V in late 2020 as a self-serve platform for advertisers and media agencies to plan and buy automated video ads on ITV Hub (now ITVX). It is now the UK’s second-largest video ad platform after Google and boasts 1,500 users across agency groups.

However, as McLachlan explained, ITV has wider ambitions for Planet V beyond selling spots on its own streaming platform. This echoes an invitation from commercial chief Kelly Williams for UK rivals Channel 4 and Sky to join the platform at launch in October 2020.

McLachlan said:  “It was never our intention to build an ITV-centric walled garden. We thought we could move first and establish a position … our intention was always to build something that would work for the [whole] TV industry.”

Planet V is meant to ensure all money spent on ITV goes to the broadcaster and is not hived off by third-party adtech companies, as happens in open-market ad buying for digital display ads.

McLachlan added: “As market leaders, we want to build something that works for the whole TV ecosystem. [But] we don’t want to be slum landlords. we’re not applying a massive taxation rate to partners on our platform.”

The platform was built using Amobee’s adtech and integrating with “privacy by design” specialists InfoSum to enable brands to target audiences that blend their own data with ITV’s first-party data in a GDPR compliant manner. It plans to join up the tech stack with other data and technology, including Barb audience data, on an “end-to-end” basis.

“We’re proving out that a big broad Luddite-ish, slow moving beast is capable of disrupting itself and really leaning into digital in a way that [is] more agile and executes with a hacker mindset,” McLachlan said. “We feel there’s a validation that’s happening here… one that’s not just academically right, it needs to be commercially right, too.”

He went on: “There’s no point building a walled garden that is completely solid — we don’t have the scale or penetration that a Facebook or Google has because we’re a domestic broadcaster. But in seeking to collaborate and engage with constructive dialogue with other broadcasters, when we align our thinking together we win.”

McLachlan spoke at Connected TV World Summit in London on 21 March in conversation with independent advisor and former Sky Media deputy MD Jamie West. For the full agenda go here

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