Video: The Targeted Advertising opportunity for free-to-air broadcasters

DVB-TA is a targeted advertising standard produced by HbbTV and DVB with the aim of providing a single standard for addressable advertising across Europe and in TVs. DVB-TA comprises two specifications, one covering signalling of advertising breaks, another deals with communicating with advert decision servers and the preparation of media. This webinar looks at the underlying HbbTV technology rollout in Europe.

This video brings together Sebastian Busse from, Arturo Larrainzar from Artresmedia and PubItalia ’80’s Silvia Broggi to explain how targeted advertising is working in France, Germany and Italy ahead of a twenty-minute Q&A.

Sebastian is first up with the German perspective starting by outlining the motivations to move to targeted advertising. For traditional TV, he sees problems ahead as digital ad budgets surpass those of TV, consumption moves away from linear TV and tech giants specifically attacking the traditional model. To fight against this, he sees a need to improve infrastructure such as inventory management systems, focus on data control and management plus investing in addressable ad solutions. The way to make this scalable and affordable for broadcasters and TV manufacturers is to congregate around a single standard.

Europe can be a difficult place for standards since the united countries all hold on tightly to their ways of working, cultural norms and needs which creates conflicting demands on standards. However, HbbTV has spread from Germany to Spain, Italy, France and now Poland, Czechia and Austria since 2017. With DVB-TA, broadcasters can have better control over their AD delivery chain, data and addressable ad breaks so much more growth is envisaged for 2022 and onwards.



Arturo from Atresmedia gives a brief overview of Spain’s use of HbbTV which now reaches 17.4 million people in nearly 8 million households. Their approach is to target a cross-device ad model. Partnering with smartclip they were able to profile over 40% of Spanish households and use that data to allow customers to design better ad campaigns which bridge TVs and web audiences.

Arturo speaks about hybrid ads where the video is squeezed to allow a L-shaped banner around the content. Using this and other techniques, Artresmedia has been able to improve campaigns by an extra 4 points, important as extra points are usually disproportionately expensive but this is a simple approach to do the same thing. Next on the list of products is ad replacement.

Finally, the Italian perspective comes from Silvia. Since the first HbbTV application in 2018, they have moved quickly and introduced ad replacement in 2020. With a reach of 7 million households, they can insert banners or squeezes and address OTT. What PublItalia are able to do is track which linear ads are shown on TV and use that to determine which UI/banner ads are subsequently shown.

The video finishes with a Q&A session which covers: GDPR, manufacturers support of HbbTV, HbbTV-TA availability in TVs, identifying logged in users on second devices, CPM stability and many more.

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Sebastian Busse Sebastian Busse
Director Addressable TV, International,
Arturo Larrainzar Arturo Larrainzar
Head of Strategy,
Silvia Broggi Silvia Broggi
International Marketing & MarTech Director,
PubItalia ’80

Video: Introduction to DVB’s Targeted Advertising specifications

Addressable TV is coming to DVB with targetted advertising specifications. Famously Sky has been one of the main driving forces behind addressable TV in Europe. Sky’s AdSmart technology, launched in 2014 has long allowed advertisers large and small to target very specific viewers. In 2017 DVB spotted the need for an interoperable standard for targetted advertising and today we are seeing the results of their work to date. Usually, broadcasters can charge a premium for targetted advertising which brings them on a par with the ability of the large streaming giants to target ads to their customers. Sky has found that personalised commercials result in 21% more engagement and 35% heightened attentiveness.

Addressable TV has been shown to encourage smaller advertisers to use TV for the first time. Whilst creating a professional advert is not cheap, this is played off against the reduced cost of only targetting a small percentage of households. Capitalising on the localisation possible, Macdonalds, for instance, has used targetted advertising to announce new menus in specific branches.

Targetted advertising shows a promising future for growth, so this seems to be a great time for DVB and HbbTV to be jointly producing standard guidance for the industry called DVB-TA.

Martin Gold introduces the DVB-TA Part 1 – Signalling explaining that this specification is currently going through ETSI for standardisation. DVB-TA accounts for signalling from playout to the encoder, to downstream transcoders/multiplexers and to the receivers themselves. The specification focusses on SCTE 35 and where a receiver can’t understand SCTE 35, there is a way to translate these messages to DSM-CC messages for HbbTV devices. SCTE 35 has been extended and includes a unique programme descriptor and also accounts for PTS adjustments.

Matt Poole follows by talking about Part 2 which deals with communication with ad servers. Matt explains how privacy and working within GPDR has been considered throughout this section. He then talks about the importance of carefully matching the video format of the ad inventory with the viewed channel in order to get the most seamless transition possible and be careful to download the correct file type of asset. Matt then talks about the playoff between reach and perfect user experience.

The talk ends with a 20-minute Q&A session which includes panellists Peter Neumann and Angelo Pettazzi.

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Angelo Pettazzi Angelo Pettazzi
Chair of the DVB Commercial Module working group on Targeted Advertising
Consultant at R.T.I. Strategic Marketing, Mediaset Group
Martin Gold Martin Gold
Editor of the DVB-TA signalling specification,
Consultant Architect at YouView TV Limited
Matt Poole Matt Poole
Chair of the DVB Technical Module working group on Targeted Advertising,
Steering group PMO, HbbTV
Peter Neumann Peter Neumann
Platform Solutions Program Distribution,
CBC / Mediengruppe RTL

Video: The future of addressable TV advertising in the UK

When it comes to advertising, there’s a lot of value in understanding who you’re talking to. This video examines the practicality of that within the UK and the relative value that brings. Nigel Walley from Decipher looks at how the landscape is changing both in the ability to address the TV externally and the information available within the home.

Nigel starts by looking at how the broadcast TV companies and the online streaming companies are able to target and concludes that broadcast can often fine tune to the region and and include dayparting whereas though we assume streaming companies can target by individuals, in reality Nigel asserts, they typically target by household. He goes further to explain that almost 50% of viewing is still linear TV with YouTube taking up 12.4% of the 50% which remains of the 4hours and 42 minutes of average viewing time per day.

Nigel makes the point that with HbbTV and many of the streaming services being available on the ‘big screen’, it makes the idea of ‘broadcast’ vs ‘streaming’ a nonsense as they are already converged. The big difference is in how we can provide the ads to these platforms. The Virgin and Sky closed platforms comprise nearly 13 million viewers with Freeview plus others making up nearly 16 million. Nigel highlights that 30% of viewing is with the BBC and hence no advertising, although trailers may be delivered using addressable technologies.

Nigel explains that Sky’s Adsmart has been extended to Virgin cable. Then explains how YouView and other channels move up to the big screen – the TV. The important issue for publishers is how the Sky and Virgin platforms end up as controlling influences. Nigel explains the Linear Addressability of the platforms showing that YouView is the next potential area this will happen. There’s also the opportunity for smart TVs themselves to help in delivering these ads. “What can a broadcaster do alone” asks Nigel which he answers by saying ‘very little’ unless they are Sky or Virgin in the UK. They can deliver addressable TV into apps and computers, however.

Nigel finishes with a call to action to the broadcasters to change their focus from individual apps to the ways they and agencies can work together to reach more, and more targeted viewers.

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Nigel Walley Nigel Walley
Managing Director,

Video: Reasons to cry –  living room device app development

HbbTV is a transmission standard seeking to unify over-the-air transmissions and broadband-delivered services into a seamless service. This aim is the same as ATSC 3.0 though the means of achieving it are not the same. HbbTV has seen growing use since its debut in 2006 and is now on its 2nd iteration.

James Williams has spent a lot of time getting services working on HbbTV-compliant hardware. STB manufacturers always have to balance very carefully the cost of the box against the components and hence performance. This leads to some unfortunate compromises when it comes to ‘secondary features’ such as rendering HTML, CSS or Javascript even if they are required in order to validate a box against a standard. This talk is a synthesis of what’s he’s learnt, fought against and endured making, sometimes very simple, things work.

James starts by looking at the boxes available and, importantly, the SDKs behind them which are many and varied. We’re then taken through some of the XML necessary to get an HbbTV app up and running including some key “dos and don’ts”. Now that we’ve seen how to invoke a program, James takes us on an amusing journey into getting a loading spinner to work and the many attempts, all highly reasonable, to convince this to be rendered.

For a video service, playing videos is probably the most important function so next we look at the surprising number of ways one can fail to get video to play using quite rational parameters in MPEG DASH seeing the ways to make it work and the ones to avoid. Finally we see the variety of responses that boxes report back their failure to render video.

A cautionary tale, or a guide to survive? You decide.
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James Williams James Williams
Solutions Engineer,