Major Ad Tech Companies Launch New Initiative to Accelerate Programmatic TV in Europe

Tim Cross 17 June, 2024 

A number of major ad tech businesses – PubMatic, Magnite, Equativ, The Trade Desk, Cadent, and Adform – this morning announced the launch of the European Programmatic TV Initiative (EPTVI), a joint effort aimed at accelerating growth and adoption of programmatic TV in Europe.

The EPTVI is a collaboration with the Project X Initiative, and has a number of broadcasters and agencies on board (though these haven’t been named). This initiative will look at the major factors holding back the development of programmatic TV in Europe, bringing together different stakeholders in order to solve these challenges.

For example, while many European broadcasters have invested in programmatic technologies, in several cases these are closed sales platforms which don’t link into the wider programmatic ecosystem. This is quite different to America, where even the largest broadcasters tend to be plugged into a wider range of access points.

But buyers in Europe, as in America, want to be able to access connected TV (CTV) inventory from their preferred demand-side platforms (DSPs).

This problem isn’t easily solved. Many broadcasters still have concerns about losing control of their product, and commoditisation of their inventory, if they sell their ads more freely through programmatic pipes. But these issues are holding back the overall market. The EPTVI believes this is one of the reasons that CTV ad spend is relatively low in Europe in relation to linear TV when compared with America. CTV ad spend sits at around 10 percent of linear TV spend in Europe, compared to 38 percent in America.

Embracing a collaborative spirit

By bringing together the buy-side and the sell-side, the tech players which link the two up hope they can find solutions to some of these problems.

The members have stated four initial objectives for the initiative:

  • Establish clear definitions and terminology for programmatic TV to create a common understanding across the industry.
  • Set out the potential benefits and drawbacks of the shift to programmatic TV and identify ways to mitigate concerns and barriers to adoption.
  • Showcase successful programmatic TV campaigns across Europe to demonstrate its effectiveness and inspire others.
  • Develop a roadmap for the future development of programmatic TV in Europe, with recommendations for different stakeholders

The initiative will culminate in an industry summit and report in the Autumn.

“The European TV landscape has long been challenged by being very fragmented, and this has hindered the development of a standardised programmatic ecosystem,” said Hitesh Bhatt, senior director of CTV/OTT, EMEA at PubMatic. “It’s time to get everyone – from broadcasters and streamers to OEMs and agencies – around the table to try and address this so that we can enable TV in Europe to thrive amidst huge changes in viewing behaviour and media buying practices.”

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About the Author:

Tim Cross is Assistant Editor at VideoWeek.
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