Sky has invested $5 million in US ad-tech firm Sharethrough as part of its strategy to “drive innovation” by partnering with emerging technology companies.
The investment builds on a relationship between the two companies established last year when Sky became the first UK media brand to work with Sharethrough to offer native advertising on skysports.com.
Through the new partnership, Sky’s advertising sales house Sky Media will offer its clients access to Sharethrough’s native advertising software, which helps publishers to monetise websites and apps with adverts that are “non-interruptive and stylistically similar to the surrounding content.”
Additionally, Sky is expected to benefit from adopting new native advertising to market its portfolio of products and services, including Sky TV, Sky Broadband and Now TV.
Under the terms of the deal, Sky Media’s deputy managing director, Jamie West, will take a board observer position at Sharethrough.
Commenting on the move, West said: “This investment in Sharethrough builds on our leadership in advertising innovation which we’ve already established with Sky AdSmart, enabling us to offer even more options to advertisers on Sky.”
Available in a fifth of UK households, Sky AdSmart tailors what’s shown in TV ad breaks according to a household’s profile and location. Since launching earlier this year, 224 brands have run 640 individual campaigns, leading to a total of 577 million Sky Adsmart ads being viewed in Sky homes.
Dan Greenberg, founder and CEO of Sharethrough, added: “Partnering with Sky is our latest step in advancing Sharethrough’s vision to help publishers around the world find new revenue streams across all platforms, especially mobile.
“There is already a rapid shift towards native, in-feed monetization as a key revenue driver for all publishers in all markets. Our industry-leading software will enable publishers and their brand clients to deliver content programs at scale.”