Imagine, Sky Media sales collaboration

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Imagine Communications, which helps broadcasters and content owners monetise TV, has entered into an agreement with Sky Media, the advertising sales arm of Sky, to transform the way that multiplatform media advertising is bought and sold.

In a collaborative five-stage project, Imagine will work with Sky Media to evolve its existing, on-premises Landmark Sales application into a cloud-based, fully managed service for cross-platform campaign sales management, inventory optimisation and adaptive audience fulfilment. This marks the latest chapter in the relationship between the companies, which has grown since 2007.

Central to the enterprising, multi-phased project is One Campaign, Sky Media’s new proposition that allows advertisers to buy a single campaign that is delivered and measured holistically across multiples platforms, including linear and on demand, and receive one invoice. The capability was successfully developed in 2020 and is now live.

Another critical element in Sky Media’s business-driving transformation is Imagine’s xG GamePlan, a cloud-native booking optimiser that brings improved efficiency to audience-based campaigns to reach target goals with less inventory. With xG GamePlan, Imagine says that Sky Media can plan even last-minute campaigns accurately and effectively, ensuring all opportunities are monetised without over-delivery. Finally, the project will see Landmark Sales transition from a standalone application to a next-generation cloud-based platform including browser-based user interfaces.

By next year all of Sky Media’s ad management operations will be fully migrated to the cloud and operated by Imagine Managed Service, enabling Sky Media to reduce total cost of ownership as compared to an on-premises deployment and allow them to focus on their core business of providing viewers with great content and providing brands with great advertising opportunities.

“At Sky Media, we are always looking at how we can simplify the TV advertising market,” said John Litster, Managing Director of Sky Media. “One Campaign has only recently launched, but it is already proving to be a huge success in the market. It is transforming the way TV advertising is planned, measured, traded and managed by focussing on audiences, not platforms. We have enabled advertisers to reach and connect with the right audience whenever and wherever they watch ― in the knowledge it has the brand safety and high impact that only TV can provide. It will change the future of TV for the better, and in combination with other new tools such as xG GamePlan, it takes our capabilities to serve customers and manage our business to the next level.

“But we don’t want to stop there. Once the new cloud platform is fully rolled out in the UK, the logical next step will be to deploy it across our international footprint, enabling the Sky Media teams in every European territory to operate as a fully integrated hub from a single common platform. The team at Imagine are fantastic partners in enabling all of this change. We have achieved a lot together already, and while there is more to do, we are really excited about the future and the prospect of building an even stronger partnership with them,” added Lister.

“Our vision for the future of ad tech is a comprehensive, cross-platform advertising planning and delivery platform that runs in the cloud, provides a modern, intuitive user experience, and is readily and seamlessly integrated into all the systems around it,” said Tom Cotney, CEO of Imagine Communications. “When we discussed this vision with Sky Media, they enthusiastically embraced it and were eager to work with us to bring it to life. This is a game-changer not just for Sky, but for all broadcasters and media businesses that need centralized, consolidated, cross-platform and highly efficient advertising technology.”


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