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Sky invests in ad analytics firm DataXu

Sky has invested $10 million (€9.25m) in DataXu, a provider of programmatic marketing analytics, data management and media activation software. According to Sky, the investment is the latest example of the company taking equity shares in innovative companies, bringing new ideas, insight and services into its business.

Based in Boston, Massachusetts, DataXu partners with advertisers and media agencies to help them engage more efficiently and effectively with consumers across all of their devices. DataXu’s expertise in programmatic marketing – the automated, data-driven planning and trading of advertising across multiple media devices and formats – benefits Sky as both an advertiser and investor. The DataXu platform has the capability to analyse and optimise buying decisions on over 100 billion digital advertising opportunities every day around the globe.

Sky’s advertising sales division, Sky Media, will also work closely with DataXu to explore a number of new opportunities, including: extending the reach of Sky Media’s product, Sky AdVance; leveraging DataXu’s market-leading experience in helping advertisers to buy addressable TV ads programmatically; and harnessing the power of data and analytics to drive superior marketing results.

Sky Media has a strong track record of innovation. In 2014, it launched Sky AdSmart, a product designed to make TV advertising effective for niche or smaller brands. Sky AdSmart serves different ads to different households watching the same programme, showing the most relevant ads as guided by data from profiling experts.

This was followed in 2015 with the introduction of Sky AdVance, which allows advertisers to connect journeys across screens so that audiences see the right ad, at the right time, in the right sequence and on the right screen.

Jamie West, Deputy MD at Sky Media, said the investment would help it develop a deeper understanding of programmatic advertising, and play its part in shaping the market as it progresses. “Combining Sky’s knowledge, experience and innovation in advertising with DataXu’s programmatic marketing expertise will provide exciting opportunities for both businesses, and most importantly, for Sky’s advertising partners.”

“This strategic investment allows DataXu to partner with a true, global leader in television and media,” said Mike Baker, DataXu Co-Founder and CEO. “DataXu and Sky have strong alignment on the future of programmatic and advanced television; and this investment ensures our two companies continue to learn and grow together.”

This partnership follows recent Sky investments in OTT video company TV4 Entertainment and online video aggregator Pluto TV. Sky has previously invested in a number of other pioneering US technology companies, including the leading online sports network Whistle Sports, IP streaming service provider Roku and cinematic virtual reality company Jaunt.

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