Sky 600

Sky, UKOM & Ipsos iris - An Industry First For Measuring Off-Platform Audiences

Publishing Excellence Awards
Best Research / Insight Project

In Autumn 2023, Sky worked with Ipsos and UKOM on a pioneering project to become the first UK publisher to measure off-platform distributed video alongside their owned and operated platforms within the iris solution. This was a significant enhancement to the industry standard for online measurement, offering a more comprehensive and accurate view of the evolving video landscape and delivering a deeper understanding of where consumers are consuming content online.

The Sky Publisher Player (SPP) is Sky’s video syndication offering, granting over 300 trusted third-party publishers’ access to Sky’s slate of premium online clips to host on their own websites. With their digital distribution strategy evolving at pace, Sky’s stakeholders & customers needed a better understanding of the full reach and impact of their advertising offering in a single, simplified view. The team were tracking web-based analytics through the player, however there was no methodology currently in place whereby they could deliver quality audience insights for our off-platform offering alongside O&O platforms.

Working with Ipsos and UKOM, Sky used a tailored data integration solution that fuses census data from Sky’s off-platform video player to the Ipsos iris 10,000 single source panel, transforming browser-based reporting into quality, audience metrics. Previously, iris was only reporting video content served on media owners owned and operated platforms.

Data from this integration has allowed Sky to streamline their digital reporting across platforms towards a single, simplified view. It has unlocked additional insights that fuel Sky’s commercial teams and agencies alike with accountability of investment – for example demonstrating that content served via Sky’s Publisher Player increased the Sky Sports’ audience reach by a huge +34% in January 2024.

This data brings additional answers when monitoring the performance of their expanding distribution strategy, with the success seen across Sports fuelling the strategy team’s justification and approach when launching News content across the player.

Furthermore, matching census data with iris’ 500 audience segments allows Sky to create viewer profiles comparable with those measured for linear TV through BARB, and as a result contributes towards the methodology behind Sky Media’s cross-platform post campaign reporting capabilities available to agencies and clients.

Ipsos iris underscored the importance of this development for the wider media landscape, saying 'Our collaboration with Sky is a defining moment in evolving online viewing. This is a huge development for Sky as well as the entire industry and will drive improved strategic planning for media owners and agencies alike.'

Providing the commercial team with new trusted, audience-based insights contributed to the success of a record-breaking quarter for our off-platform SPP network with revenues up +78% YOY. They also launched News as a new genre stream across SPP to complement their Sports offering, therefore broadening what they can offer to both third party publishers and advertisers.

Audience segments from the dataset have been used within the methodology of Sky’s cross-platform campaign reporting which now includes digital platforms for the first time.

This development not only brings benefits internally to Sky teams, but also serves as an example of the benefits of working with UKOM and Ipsos to other publishers and encourages them to follow this example to create benefit for the entire market.

This project not only transformed Sky’s digital reporting capabilities, but also opened opportunities for other publishers to follow suit and has created future opportunities to work in a cross-media measurement space on video consumption.

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