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BSkyB Plans Targeted Ads; TV Will Know Your Hopes, Dreams, Aspirations

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Viewers may be skipping TV ads by then, but BSkyB (NYSE: BSY) says it’s working on technology that will target its ad inventory to specific subscribers by 2011. Dubbed Smart TV, Sky is calling it “substitutional advertising” – presumably since it will mark the big shift from selling by mass to selling accuracy. This is a paradigm that will be inherited from the web world but which would turn 70 years of TV advertising on its head. TV networks may have to go down this route if they are to stop their clients’ ad spend continuing to hemmorhage to the net.

MediaWeek: “The service will use personal data gathered by Sky’s research department and SkyView, its 20,000-strong audience panel, to target commercials to users’ Sky+ boxes.” It will all depend on Sky building out that database over the next few years; meaning it must do considerably better than its recent court spat with EDS, when the pair fought over failings in a customer relationship management (CRM) system the computer giant was contracted to build for the satcaster.