Initiative launched to accelerate programmatic TV in Europe

Monday, June 17th, 2024 
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Leading Industry Players Launch New Initiative to Accelerate the Development and Growth of Programmatic TV In Europe

LONDON — A consortium of leading industry players – The Trade Desk, PubMatic, Equativ, Magnite, Cadent and Adform – in collaboration with The Project X Initiative (PXI) and major European broadcasters, streamers, and agency groups – today announced the launch of the European Programmatic TV Initiative (EPTVI) to support the development and growth of programmatic advertising in Europe’s major TV markets.

Pivotal moment

Television advertising in Europe is now at a pivotal moment, as audiences and viewing continue to shift from linear to streaming and online services. Programmatic technologies, leveraging data and automation to streamline ad buying and delivery against TV content across different platforms, hold out the promise of enhanced efficiency, targeting, and measurement. However, many industry participants believe that critical barriers – technological, operational, commercial, strategic – are hindering the full realisation of these benefits.

Although many of Europe’s leading commercial broadcasters have developed advanced sales platforms, engagement with the wider programmatic ecosystem is often restricted. Concerns about the commodification of premium TV inventory and a loss of control over data and client relationships remain significant barriers.

Conversely, advertising agencies and advertisers are increasingly eager to leverage their preferred buying tools and achieve operational efficiencies, rather than navigating numerous proprietary media owner platforms.

As a result, the full potential of programmatic TV is still to be unlocked, with estimates suggesting CTV ad spend in Europe will account for only 10% of linear TV advertising in 2024 compared to 38% in the US, and little consensus about the way forward.

Bridging the gap

This new initiative aims to address these challenges by bringing together key stakeholders from across the TV advertising ecosystem, including broadcasters, streamers, TV platform providers, agencies, and advertisers.

The members of the Initiative plan to work closely and collaboratively with participants across the European market, exploring critical challenges and looking for practical solutions that can support buyers and sellers. The Initiative will be discussed in more detail at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, where Equativ will host a panel discussion on Unlocking the Potential of Programmatic TV at the Equativ Content Hub at 14:30 on Monday, 17th June. For more information and to reserve your place, go to

Key objectives

The Initiative’s objectives are to:

  • Establish clear definitions and terminology for programmatic TV to create a common understanding across the industry.
  • Set out the potential benefits and drawbacks of the shift to programmatic TV and identify ways to mitigate concerns and barriers to adoption.
  • Showcase successful programmatic TV campaigns across Europe to demonstrate its effectiveness and inspire others.
  • Develop a roadmap for the future development of programmatic TV in Europe, with recommendations for different stakeholders.

The Initiative will culminate in an industry Summit and Report in the Autumn.

Hitesh Bhatt, Senior Director, CTV/OTT, EMEA at PubMatic said: “The European TV landscape has long been challenged by being very fragmented, and this has hindered the development of a standardised programmatic ecosystem. It’s time to get everyone – from broadcasters and streamers to OEMs and agencies – around the table to try and address this so that we can enable TV in Europe to thrive amidst huge changes in viewing behaviour and media buying practices.

Through our partnership with PXI, we aim to help all players build their programmatic capabilities and develop innovative approaches that will simplify what is currently a complex ad trading landscape. As established digital players enter the TV space with years of data-driven experience behind them, we need to embrace a collaborative spirit to establish best practices and unlock programmatic TV’s full potential.”

Teiffyon Parry, Chief Strategy Officer at Equativ said: “We are excited to be part of the PXI project, working alongside industry thought-leaders to tackle programmatic and CTV fragmentation in Europe. As a pioneer in this space, Equativ can contribute expertise and help unify standards. Through our collaboration with PXI, we aim to drive advancements in the ecosystem, creating better experiences for advertisers and media owners. It’s energising to be part of this common effort to develop a strategic and practical vision and design a cohesive roadmap for the future of programmatic TV and video. Here’s to breaking down barriers and building a more connected industry.”

Julie Selman, Head of EMEA Revenue, Magnite said: “As the programmatic TV market continues to evolve, Magnite is looking forward to collaborating with The Future of Programmatic TV in Europe Initiative and key players in the industry to assess and highlight the benefits, challenges and opportunities and how best to work together to move the industry forward. Dynamic market needs play a critical role in how to tackle these conversations across EMEA and Magnite’s local expertise, insights and technology will contribute to this effort as we jointly draft a roadmap for the future of TV across EMEA.”

Marcy Pentoney, SVP, Product, Cadent said: “Joining the Project X Initiative is an exciting step towards unifying and growing the fragmented programmatic TV landscape in Europe. As a long-established ad enablement provider in the UK and Europe, Cadent seeks to understand how we can further support the market with our data-driven solutions and provide value to buyers and sellers. By fostering deeper collaboration among broadcasters, streamers, OEMs and agencies, we can create a more cohesive and efficient ecosystem that adapts to evolving media consumption patterns and delivers better experiences for advertisers and viewers alike. Together, we can drive innovation and establish best practices for the future of programmatic advertising in Europe.”

Stefan Sommer, Senior Vice President, Global Sales & Partnerships, Adform said: “We’re thrilled to join the European Programmatic TV Initiative. This collaboration represents a unique opportunity for open conversations between key broadcasters, clients, and technology providers, aiming to address critical challenges in CTV such as measurement and targeting. Our extensive experience in driving successful CTV campaigns across multiple countries allows us to share valuable insights that can unlock new revenue streams. We are eager to explore how CTV and linear TV can complement each other, enhancing overall media strategies. As Europe’s leading DSP, we recognise the importance of tailored approaches for each market and believe this initiative will help establish best practices and lay the groundwork for universal metrics and regulation.”

Links: Equativ; PubMatic; Magnite; Cadent; Adform