Sky puts 35% of its display budget through ad exchanges with the majority of that done through real-time bidding (RTB), according to Matthew Turner, BSkyB director of online sales and marketing.
That figure is up from 18% a year ago (nma.co.uk 15 April 2011), and talking at IAB’s Real Time Advertising event yesterday, Turner said, “I see no reason it won’t be 50% by 2013.”
Sky delivers 27bn impressions each year, which to put it into perspective, is four times the world’s population, or 437 times the UK’s population.
“Three to four years ago we would have to speak to the entire audience [at the event] to reach the people who didn’t have Sky,” said Turner. “Fortunately, the industry has come a long way since then.”
He added that through the use of real-time advertising, Sky has eliminated wastage and become more relevant, which has also enabled it to target and segment its audience more effectively.
The three segments it targets are prospects, site visitors and existing customers.
Turner said Sky doesn’t know a lot about its prospects, but what it does know is gleaned from ad exchanges, adding, “We’re testing data augmentation and lookalikes but it’s in its infancy – there is still room to grow.”
Ultimately, the way it learns about prospects is by using cookies to monitor behaviour if they visit the Sky site, and see what they are looking at. It can then deliver the right message when they leave the site.
Over the next two to three years, Sky will focus on story telling, which Turner said, “boils down to sequential messaging with a twist. We want to use data to work out statistically which is the best impression to deliver at which time.”
Trading desk Infectious Media’s co-founder Martin Kelly, which Sky works with, said the industry is at the start of the RTB journey.
To put things in perspective, he said online now accounts for 26% of all media spend. Of that, 25% is display, and of that 25%, just 10% is RTB, so it accounts for just 0.7% of all media.
He said, “Changes are afoot but there is a long way to go before RTB is mainstream and before it makes a real difference.”