Virtual European Broadcaster Adtech Summit 2021

On 19th May 2021, we held our second Virtual European Broadcaster Adtech Summit (VEBA). This exclusive digital event was streamed live from our mother ship — the Mediengruppe RTL TV studios in Cologne — and produced by CBC. Our co-CEOs, Thomas Servatius and Dr Oliver Vesper hosted the event, and were joined by a glittering array of speakers from the world of TV advertising. Acclaimed German TV presenter Amiaz Habtu was our moderator for the day, guiding our audience through an action-packed programme.

The purpose of VEBA is to create an international forum for knowledge exchange, where broadcasters and adtech experts can come together to share industry knowledge and opinions, and discuss key developments within the European TV market. With this in mind, attendance at VEBA 2021 was limited in order to encourage lively debate and multilateral networking among over 140 industry executives. At smartclip, we are constantly striving to address the challenges faced by broadcasters across the continent, and our VEBA event represents an ideal opportunity to learn more about what moves broadcasters.

Part 1: Driving Addressable TV demand across Europe

The day was split into two parts, with a warm welcome from Thomas and Oliver to kick off the morning session — Driving Addressable TV Demand Across Europe. During these initial moments, our co-CEOs introduced the official VEBA 2021 speaker line-up, and gave our online audience an overview of the stimulating and diverse topics to be covered throughout the day. 

Once the scene was set, it was time for us to welcome our first guest speaker, Maria Flores Portillo, General Manager EMEA at Amobee. She joined Thomas for the first presentation, The need for a central European buying solution, to discuss new partnerships and alliances that are shaping the European Total Video industry.

Next up was Dr Oliver Vesper with his presentation, Two sides of the same coin: spotlight on media & tech success stories. He explored how we can future-proof and digitise broadcast TV advertising, and considered how advertisers’ increasingly complex needs can be met through a combination of media and tech. 

Following on from Oliver was Anna Maria Vujinovic, Director of Sales at Ad Alliance Netherlands. She shared key insights into the Ad Alliance’s success in the Dutch market, and illustrated how the company combines media sales across digital and TV for a Total Video advertising offering.

We then moved on to the Spanish market, welcoming Enrique Arnaiz Ateca, Product Marketing & Research Manager, Smartclip Spain and LATAM, and Fernando Pino Velázquez, Director Marketing Services at Atresmedia Publicidad to the stage. In their presentation, the pair looked at the unparalleled impact and reach of linear TV advertising, and highlighted how cross-device targeting based on linear viewing data and Addressable TV via HbbTV can extend linear TV’s reach to digital environments on a household level.

To draw the morning to a close, Thomas Servatius guided us through the most recent smartx platform developments. He went on to make compelling predictions on the future of the TV advertising industry in the ever-evolving digital age, and concluded by introducing some of the cutting-edge concepts that are in the pipeline at smartclip.

Part 2: European broadcaster challenges and initiatives

European broadcaster challenges and initiatives took centre stage in part two of VEBA 2021. The afternoon session began with Julien Boyreau’s presentation, How to compete with the GAFA, in which he explored how the digital giants are able to grow so significantly year on year. Additionally, Julien looked at how both the GAFA’s star model and Vickery’s game theory can be applied to TV. 

Afterwards, we were lucky enough to be able to welcome not just one, but three special guests. Alexander Knudsen, VP, Solutions Engineering at Amobee was joined by Rhys McLachlan, Director of Advanced Advertising at ITV and Karin Immenroth, Chief Data & Analytics Officer at Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland for a panel discussion — Quo vadis identity solutions? Here, the trio dived into the initiatives taken to build GDPR-compliant identity solutions that can measure what matters: media performance for publishers and business outcomes for advertisers.

Massimo Pavan, Marketing and Business Development Manager at SportItalia, was next on the agenda. In his presentation, How interest led channels benefit from ATV, he outlined how Addressable TV via HbbTV has helped Sportitalia stand apart from other interest-led channels on the Italian market. Moreover, he revealed how reaching “a specific target at a specific time” has allowed the channel to attract major brands to advertise on their channel portfolio — a model showing promise for interest-led broadcasters across Europe.

Heading over to the Nordic region, Mikael Ekelöf, Director of Ad Sales Business Development at TV4 shed light on the innovative steps the channel is taking to future-proof linear television. The simplification of TV buying processes is just one of these initiatives, and represents a significant step towards the modernisation of linear TV.

Last but by no means least was Frank Vogel, Chief Sales Marketing Officer at Ad Alliance. His presentation, BÄMazing: Addressable TV in Germany, rounded off the afternoon session, and covered key details on Ad Alliance’s ATV strategies, which are anticipated to grow and develop in the years to come. 

Of course, no such event would be complete without the opportunity to mingle and raise a glass in an informal setting. Since we weren’t able to do so in person, we invited sommeliers Mareike Meyer and Michael Kietzmann from Vino della Casa to lead a virtual wine tasting session. In the days leading up to VEBA, all participants received a gift box in the post, containing three bottles of wine, and a selection of sweet and savoury snacks to sample during this relaxed closing session.

Packed with fascinating industry insights and fruitful knowledge exchange, our VEBA 2021 edition proved to be a huge success. We’d like to thank our VEBA 2021 guest speakers for their engaging and informative contributions, along with our audience of TV experts for their enthusiasm and active participation.

A recording of the entire VEBA 2021 edition is available to view — please get in touch with us at if you are interested in gaining access.

Shira Leffel

Shira Leffel is the VP of Marketing & Product Education and is responsible for leading the central European marketing and product education department at smartclip. She has lived and worked in the United States, Canada, Israel, Mozambique, Brazil, and now Germany. Shira comes with extensive experience in marketing for B2B technology startups. She has built out marketing teams and strategies—her core expertise lies in content strategy, most notably inbound content marketing. Shira graduated Summa Cum Laude and First in Class with an M.A. from Tel Aviv University, and First Class Honours with a B.A. from the University of British Columbia.

Shira Leffel
VP Marketing & Product Education

Kathrin Müller

Kathrin has solid experience in building strategic partnerships with international and national media outlets throughout Europe. As an award-winning communication specialist, her expertise lies in strategizing the management of digital media companies in all aspects of press communication and public relations. This skill set has made her a key player in the image branding and the Europe-wide networking of smartclip. She has been heavily involved with smartclip since its inception in 2008.

Kathrin Müller
Executive Director Europe I PR & Communication

Lizzy Curry was formerly a Content Marketing Marketing Manager at smartclip.

Lizzy Curry
Content Marketing Manager Europe