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BSkyB is said to be able to deliver targeted ads to households based on their subscription package and location, in addition to other factors. Sources close to BSkyB report the AdSmart system is ready, but the company is believed to be wary of launching the service for fear of a potential backlash and privacy concerns.
Jeremy Tester, director of brand strategy and communications at Sky Media, said the hardware systems in the Sky +HD box were not yet ready, and required software updates to ensure the service was seamless. He added:
"There is middleware inside the set-top box that is not yet ready to deliver live targeted ads. We do plan to test systems towards the end of 2012, taking it to market in 2013."
What influences the targeting:
BSkyB is restricted by how specific ads can target specific households by data protection laws. Instead, ads are believed to be matched blind to a panel of similar viewers. The panel is assembled from viewers who subscribe to similar services, are of a similar age, sex or geographical location and other factors.
Data protection laws prohibit it, but think of a future outlook where rich opted-in social data is being used to hypersegment and target people with relevant adverts.