7 July, 2021

Connected TV: The European Landscape

Exploring the ever-evolving European CTV market from an industry-leading perspective.

Connected TV (CTV) brings a whole host of benefits to the TV advertising market. A revolutionary concept, it drives convergence between TV and digital, and opens the market up to streaming services. Moreover, CTV successfully brings new advertisers to TV, while creating new opportunities for addressable advertising and format innovation.

At the same time, CTV is a nebulous term that is used liberally throughout the TV advertising industry. There is considerable discrepancy in the way in which the technology is understood by different media, markets, and providers. Generally speaking, CTV is regarded as digital TV-like video content accessed by apps, and streamed predominantly via smart TV. 

CTV in Europe

In the United States, CTV is a force to be reckoned with, yet the European CTV market remains relatively small and fractured by contrast. Although the United Kingdom is deemed a CTV powerhouse, advertisers need to enter larger European markets — Germany, France, Italy and Spain — if they are to gain market share on the continent. In these countries, the CTV value chain is largely made up of broadcasters who control the vast majority of ad-funded Video on Demand (VOD) services — TVNOW and Joyn in Germany, MyTF1 in France, or ITV Hub in the UK. These European broadcasters have far more control than their US counterparts and possess the power to offer CTV at scale across the local markets. In addition, global giants such as Samsung TV+, Pluto TV, and Rakuten also play a dominant role in the European CTV market and are increasingly gaining traction.

Given the unique nature of the individual local markets and their specific, ever-changing requirements, it does not suffice to mirror the US CTV approach in Europe. Instead, a locally-embedded adtech framework that prioritises the needs of local media and advertisers is needed. At the same time, collaboration is pivotal. Major TV houses and independent Advertising-Based Video on Demand (AVOD) services need to join forces across markets, while ensuring that local specifics – such as age, gender, and pricing — are taken into account. German and Dutch AdAlliances, as well as the Premium Video Alliance initiative in Sweden, are prime examples of such cross-market partnerships.

Our CTV partners

In order for European media owners to excel in their CTV advertising efforts, seeking expert know-how is both recommended and highly beneficial. At smartclip, we are working with a wide array of prestigious content publishers and paving the way for European CTV growth. Owing to our strong European focus, we have an expert understanding of the differences and specifics in each of the local markets, which goes beyond that of our US competitors. We are the one-stop-shop for monetisation and adtech, with local sales teams in each of our core markets. Moreover, our smartx platform is a viable alternative to global SSPs, whose programmatic demand offerings do not always meet the unique needs of European markets.

Earlier this year, we began working with Netherlands-based music video platform XITE in the German market with a focus on CTV mid-rolls. We are also collaborating with FUNKE and Pluto in various European markets. In Germany,  FUNKE receives TV+ inventory from Samsung and sells this to other demand partners across the country. As for Pluto, the service has its own channels, such as “Pluto TV Drama” and “Pluto TV Food”, while also offering additional lifestyle, sports, and kids channels. For both of these partners, CTV is the main focus. Meanwhile, we have recently extended our long-standing CTV partnership with Rakuten TV, while rlaxxTV, Tastemade, and ClubbingTV are some of the newest faces to have been added to our CTV portfolio.

If you would like to learn more about our European CTV offering, and how we can help you to implement the technology to amplify your TV advertising efforts, please feel free to contact us at newpartnerships@smartclip.tv

Alexander Krause

Alex Krause is our Director New Partnerships at smartclip Europe and is responsible for new publisher collaborations. He predominantly works with international media owners that are active in multiple markets across the globe, but is also responsible for the DACH region. Alex is based in Hamburg and has ten years’ experience in the adtech industry.

Alexander Krause
Director New Partnerships