C4 joins European broadcasters in fight-back against duopoly

14 Nov 2017  |  Ellen Hammett 
C4 joins European broadcasters in fight-back against duopoly

Channel 4 is investing in a new digital ad sales partnership with three other major European broadcasters as they look to "compete more efficiently" with the likes of Google and Facebook.

Dubbed EBX, the European Broadcaster Exchange will allow advertisers to book pan-European campaigns across Channel 4’s on-demand service, All 4, and the equivalent services offered by Germany's ProSiebenSat.1, France's TF1 and Italy and Spain's Mediaset.

Each broadcaster will take an equal 25% share in the business, which hopes to unlock new digital revenues currently unavailable to them from adjacent ad markets by making available additional inventory on their broadcaster on-demand platforms.

Expected to become fully operational from early next year, EBX will be headquartered in London and led by newly-appointed CEO Chris Le May, formerly DataXu’s SVP & MD for Europe, who is set to begin recruiting a dedicated EBX sales team shortly.

“The demand for multi-territory digital ad campaigns in brand safe and transparent environments is increasing as the programmatic video ad market continues to grow exponentially across Europe," said Jonathan Lewis, head of digital & partnership innovation at Channel 4.

"Our investment allows Channel 4 to cater for this demand exclusively in the UK market and forge closer strategic and commercially successful partnerships with key broadcasters in European markets which will in turn generate new digital revenues for Channel 4 to reinvest back into the UK creative sector.”

ProSiebenSat.1, TF1 and Mediaset involvement in the JV has already been approved by the European competition authorities and cleared by antitrust. Channel 4 joining will be subject to similar European competition and antitrust approvals.

Commenting on the announcement, Josh Krichefski, CEO at MediaCom UK, said Channel 4’s decision to run commercials across their video-on-demand services is a direct pushback to Facebook and Google’s duopoly of digital advertising.

"Both companies - which must now be seen as media organisations as much as they are tech organisations - already eat up 90% of every new £1 spent on digital advertising, and Channel 4’s online video growth has opened up new possibilities to challenge the big-hitters. This growth is reflective of a trend towards VoD services, not least among young people, where our research showed teens are watching TV on demand most often – more so than live TV. And Channel 4 can pull on a pool of content to take advantage of, including the likes of Great British Bake Off and Gogglebox to sate consumer demand of all ages.

“With Facebook and Google’s strong push towards video content - including live streams - video ad spend is expected to grow by more than 24%. Online has changed the advertising landscape, as brands are now able to launch cross-platform campaigns through different mediums. If the Great British Bake Off audience is your target market, you won’t just reach all of them on TV anymore; on demand services that complement live TV offerings (such as All 4 or Sky Go) are now necessities for any brand or company wanting to communicate with as many consumers as possible, and advertisers are waking up to this.”

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10 Dec 2018 

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