VMO2 and ITV renew their vows

A new commercial partnership between Virgin Media O2 and ITV apparently signifies a greater mutual commitment than ever.

You’ve always been able to get ITV on Virgin’s platform, of course, but this is all about on-demand streaming and advertising integration, it seems. The five-year deal includes the full integration of the ITV Hub platform onto Virgin TV set-top boxes, which will presumably make it easier to access and navigate.

In return VMO2 gets to use Planet V, which is described as a ‘programmatic addressable advertising platform’. That seems to mean extra levels of control for advertisers when it comes to monitoring and tweaking their campaigns. This extra cleverness only applies to ITV content but it will now be made available to all Virgin TV advertisers.

“We have been a longstanding partner of ITV for many years and this new agreement further cements our relationship,” said VMO2 boss Lutz Schüler. “It paves the way for future product innovation and delivers more for our customers and our business, as well as enhancing the toolkit available to advertisers.

“Our focus in TV is all about providing incredible entertainment to our customers in a seamless way underpinned by the very best connectivity. As we continue to invest and innovate, having ITV’s vast selection of must-watch programming fully integrated and easily accessible plays a huge part in giving our customers a fantastic experience both now and in the future.”

“This extended and enhanced commercial agreement brings benefits to both ITV’s viewers and advertisers and the work that Virgin Media O2 is doing to develop its IP proposition advantages both those groups,” said ITV CEO Carolyn McCall.

“As Planet V continues to grow at scale, we’re able to deliver addressable advertising via the fully integrated ITV Hub on the great platform that Virgin Media O2 continues to evolve via both on-demand and linear viewing. Plus our viewers are able to access ITV’s fantastic range of programming more easily than ever before with an enhanced viewing experience.”

It makes sense for independent communications companies to collaborate as much as possible, given their many mutual competitive challenges. Virgin lacks the deep pockets of BT, let alone the likes of Disney, Netflix and Amazon, so it will presumably seek out further such deals with other content partners to beef out its TV offering.

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