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What ITV’s Planet V Means for European Advertisers and Brands

by Maria Flores-Portillo, November 03, 2020

Key Takeaways for Advertisers

  • Why is it so important for media owners to adopt a progressive approach to technology?
  • What role will Planet V play for advertisers merging the worlds of TV and digital?
  • What is Planet V’s iterative process going forward?
  • What does the future look like for Planet V?

The U.K.’s biggest commercial broadcaster, ITV, changed the course of advertising’s future with the recent launch of Planet V, a self-service addressable TV advertising platform created and deployed in partnership with Amobee’s advertising technology.

This bold turning point for the U.K. advertising ecosystem provides ad buyers with access to ITV’s expansive catalog of digital inventory along with advanced planning, reporting, and optimization capabilities that have not been possible for broadcaster VOD until now. 

Rhys McLachlan, Director of Advanced Advertising for ITV, sat down with Amobee for a chat on why Planet V is such an important and transformative milestone, and how it turbo-charges programmatic video for advertisers while maintaining the elevated premium qualities and standards of the TV industry.

Why is it so important for media owners to adopt a progressive approach to technology? 

As a broadcast company, we need to find solutions that ensure continuity for our customers and our high level of service, while also making sure we’re developing solutions that enable us to lean in to programmatic and simultaneously preserve the sovereignty of our business and what we do best. 

But in order to get there, we first need to establish a really strong proposition for our industry. We’re a TV business, and it’s important for any economy, both commercially and culturally, to have strong media institutions. Over the last 10 years, we’ve witnessed at close quarters what has played out for a multitude of media companies that have been heavily penetrated and disintermediated by the tech giants. We’re not here to be collaborative with the Facebooks and Googles of the world. Recent history shows that it doesn’t end well. If you collaborate with the cannibals, you end up in the pot.

“At the end of the day, what we want to provide is a brilliant platform for advertisers with a single data-informed view of the consumer and the ability to plan fluidly.” — Rhys McLachlan, Director of Advanced Advertising for ITV

Because we’ve been doing digital content distribution for a long period of time, we’ve been developing work streams around being a more data-informed, real-time, automated, programmatic business. Programmatic isn’t just pipes and wires for us; it’s a strategic investment in the long-term health of the business. It’s us leaning into it and establishing a path for the greater and wider broadcaster ecosystem. We are embracing programmatic, without fear, because we’ve invested in the ecosystem. We’re not just passengers in this evolution, we are skin-in-the-game participants in designing and executing for the entire ecosystem. For ITV, this is an audacious and committed undertaking. It’s progressive, bold, and for the European market, it’s game-changing.

What role will Planet V play for advertisers merging the worlds of TV and digital?

What we’ve done with Planet V is build a premium solution powered by rich, verified, first-party datasets activated on broadcast-quality video entertainment. This is the best-of-the-best and an elevated proposition for advertisers. Planet V is powered by data from ITV’s 30 million registered users and we are constantly overseeing that data pool for accuracy and veracity. As a result, we’ve developed a great proposition around data and all the consent mechanisms required to activate these datasets. 

With Planet V, we can start to drive value from those datasets. We’ve got this depth and breadth of targeting within TV, further to which—and this is where things get really exciting—because of our recent contract with InfoSum, advertisers can now bring their first-party datasets into an InfoSum environment, into a data bunker. And in a secure and compliant way, those datasets can be matched with ITV datasets. So we have a single, consistent view of an individual. An identity. And that creates a hashed ID that can be used for highly accurate targeting in Planet V, where we’re realizing the activation opportunity  of the datasets that both parties have, and we’re driving value for both parties through more accurate, more addressable campaigns.

What is Planet V’s iterative process going forward?

The first iterations of the in-market platform have been specifically designed to ensure that for the TV buying community, it’s familiar, easy to use, and it expedites processes that were otherwise awkward and manual—with superior features such as automated workflow, a self-service UI, dynamic allocation, real-time flighting adjustment, native attribution, and many other features that up until this point were largely absent from the digital propositions offered by the U.K. TV community.

These technical features are now native to the Planet V platform applied via  highly verified, accurate, first-class data in premium, fraud free, 100% viewable video content that has been produced to broadcast standards. This is a result of Amobee and ITV working hand in glove to utilize programmatic pipes, processes, and protocols to drive maximum value the way that TV has been done and the way that TV will continue to be done. In my opinion, that’s a killer value-prop.

“We are embracing programmatic, without fear, because we’ve invested in the ecosystem. We’re not just passengers in this evolution, we are skin-in-the-game participants in designing and executing for the ecosystem.” — Rhys McLachlan, Director of Advanced Advertising for ITV

What we need to do is distribute, train, educate, and raise the overall operating standards and usage of the platform. This is another audacious aspiration because this isn’t a plug and play, it’s wholly self-service. Unlike most digital platforms, we’re always going to operate to the very highest standards, which are TV standards. We have an ongoing process and a roadmap of developments and features that are going to be utilized at a point when we feel that the user base is up to the appropriate standard. 

Amobee has been instrumental in working with us to create the most forward-thinking  and sophisticated digital features that we will release to users in-market over the course of the next 18 months. At the end of the day, what we want is to provide a brilliant platform for advertising customers with a single view of the consumer and the ability to plan fluidly. Planet V is the biggest and most visible manifestation of our commitment to market leadership for the greater good of advertisers, the communities and regions that we serve, and the broadcast industry as a whole. 

What does the future look like for Planet V?

The future is linear. The future is channel planning. The future is multi-tenancy on the platform with a host of other publishers. The future will include an even greater breadth of data signals for smarter targeting. The future is sophisticated, accurate attribution. And the future is—and will always be—in the best interest of the future of TV.

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