Sky Media has signed an agreement that will allow Emuse Absolutely to offer their interactive advertising services on all Sky owned channels, as well as third-party channels that have airtime sold by Sky Media, the sales arm of UK satellite television operator BSkyB.

It follows a deal between the advertising arm of interactive television tools and services company Emuse Technologies and the ITV network to provide interactive advertising services for their channels on both satellite and terrestrial platforms.

“We are extremely pleased to be working alongside Sky Media” said Patrick Rainsford, the chief executive of Emuse Absolutely. “Following our deal with ITV earlier in the year, this agreement means that we can present a very compelling offering to our clients, enabling them to have interactive exposure across two of the major commercial broadcasters in the UK.”

In a statement, Robert Leach, the head of interactive services at Sky Media, welcomed the agreement. “Sky Media’s commitment to supporting the growth of iTV advertising means that we welcome the emergence of alternative service providers,” he said. “We believe that increased choice is one of the factors that will act as a stimulus to further strong growth and will encourage even more clients to enhance their campaigns with immersive interactive experiences.”

Emuse previously provided the authoring tools for the former Zip Television initiative that aimed to offer an alternative to Sky Media for interactive advertising on the Sky platform.

The company originally came to market with the Modelstream interactive television authoring product, but has increasingly emphasised its full service capabilities, particularly in interactive advertising, where interactivity can deliver a demonstrable return on investment.

Emuse also recently signed a two-year agreement to provide interactive advertising with Sky New Zealand.

Open TV marks 1,500 interactive campaigns
OpenTV, which provides the set-top box software for operators including Sky, claims that over 1,500 interactive television advertising campaigns have now been launched by digital television network operators in Europe, the United States, Australia and Asia.

The company was unable to provide a breakdown of these campaigns by territory, but the vast majority have aired in the UK, where interactive television advertising began in 1999. Interactive advertisements are increasingly prevalent there, with the interactive prompt a regular feature of the last-in-break spot.

“Advertisers are under increased pressure to achieve deeper engagement and better accountability in their advertising spend,” said Jim Chiddix, the chief executive of OpenTV. “Technologies that allow viewers to bypass traditional ads have created a sense of urgency for advertisers to embrace new advertising options. Our advanced advertising solutions allow advertisers to deliver tailored, more meaningful messages to consumers with measurable results. This is the future of TV advertising, and OpenTV expects to lead the way.”