Posted on March 26, 2019 by staff

‘TV and online advertising to converge’


The type of adverts we see on our televisions and online will gradually converge.

That is the view of Simon Cox, CEO of Peach, which has rebranded from Group IMD & Honeycomb.

A global market leader in the fast-moving advertising technology sector, Peach handles the majority of the UK’s TV ads while its platform is handling a growing number of online ads.

“TV convergence [is the next big thing in advertising],” Cox told BusinessCloud. “Linear TV advertising will look a bit more like online video through more automated buying systems and online video will look a bit more like TV, with more mature workflow automation.

“There will also be a step change in opportunities for addressable advertising: for example through systems like Sky’s AdSmart in the UK, which is rolling out beyond Sky, connected TVs or broadcaster video on demand – collectively ‘Advanced TV’ – as well as online on Facebook and You Tube.”

Peach automates processes so video advertising can be sourced, checked, reformatted and delivered for TV broadcasters, online publishers and social media platforms in seconds.

From the same online platform, users can track which media owners and broadcasters their ads have been sent to.

Peach automatically quality checks and reformats files into over 1,000 different formats, radically reducing the time and effort agencies spend on getting ads to destinations on time and on spec.

The firm is majority-owned by Inflexion, one of the UK’s leading private equity investors, who has invested alongside Peach’s management. Operating in more than 100 countries, with 35 offices worldwide and over 2,700 clients including Unilever, L’Oreal and Universal Pictures, its rapid expansion is partly due to a series of notable mergers and acquisitions in Europe, China, India, Singapore and Latin America, including eBus and Honeycomb.

Its turnover has grown by more than 300 per cent to £30 million – and Cox is forecasting 15 per cent top-line growth in 2019.

“We are always scanning for tuck-in acquisitions to accelerate our product delivery roadmap or go-to-market capability,” he added. “As with all private equity investments, we will seek an exit when the time is right.”

Peach is increasingly focusing on innovation for digital media, enabling video ad delivery “to any screen, anywhere and anytime” to help its clients seize opportunities across both TV and digital advertising.

“Any business has to be brave to break into a new area,” Cox explained. “We’ve been very successful in growing our business in linear TV video ad workflow, so adding a laser focus to make the changes in investment, brand and hiring required to be successful required a major commitment from the leadership group.

“It’s one we’re proud to say the whole team has embraced. We have a clear vision shared across the business that everyone is driving towards.”

So what will Peach look like in five years?

“Strategically, we will be the industry standard for video advertising. Financially, we will have more than doubled in size,” he said.

“We will be the No.1 player outside the US and be one of the leaders in the US.”