Proximus and DPG Media take further steps in implementing new advertising model to support local media sector

As part of the cooperation agreement concluded by the two companies in December 2021, Proximus and DPG Media will soon implement a number of innovations concerning video-on-demand content and recordings on VTM channels. The focus is on new advertising models to support the production of local content, such as the introduction of 1 minute of unskippable advertising prior to viewing a recorded VTM program as of April. The new advertising model will support the local media industry and ensure that viewers can continue to enjoy quality content made in Belgium.

The viewing behavior of Belgian consumers has fundamentally changed in recent years. While we are all consuming more content today than ever before, the shift from linear to more delayed forms of TV viewing is putting pressure on the existing advertising models of local media companies. However, this advertising revenue is paramount to ensure continued investment in the production of Belgian content.

For that reason, there was an increasingly urgent demand from the local media sector to consider the introduction of new advertising models, likely to contribute to a healthy media landscape while also guaranteeing maximum viewing comfort. Proximus is working constructively on this with the broadcasters and has been closely involved closely involved from the beginning in various projects supporting the Belgian advertising market. In this context, the company has concluded agreements with various broadcasting groups on more targeted and personalized forms of TV advertising in order to offer viewers more relevant spots that are closer to their interests.

Towards a new, future-oriented advertising model that gives local productions every opportunity

A strategic agreement was also concluded with DPG Media at the end of 2021. This agreement focuses on the development of a new, future-oriented advertising model for delayed viewing in combination with maximum viewing comfort.

At the request of DPG Media, the viewing of a recorded VTM program will soon be preceded by 1 minute of unskippable advertising on part of the TV Boxes. However, provided that the customer has given his consent, these commercials will be personalized so that they are as relevant as possible for the customer. The rest of the program, including the commercial breaks, remains fully fast-forwardable. In addition, both companies have made agreements on exchanging more precise information about the start and end times in the programming, so that recordings immediately pick up at the start of the program. The viewer will therefore no longer have to search for the starting sequence him/herself and can immediately watch his/her chosen program just after the unskippable spots.

The changes will initially be applied to the latest generation of TV Boxes from April, with the intention of later expanding this to older models. The VTM channels are the first to launch this new advertising model and discussions are also ongoing with other media groups.

As far as the replay feature is concerned, there is no impact from the new advertising model. For on-demand content, non-skippable advertising is already standard at Proximus today. The Replay+ TV option will continue to exist, allowing customers to continue navigating through both the programs and the commercial breaks. In addition, on the latest TV boxes, the replay function now allows for delayed viewing of VTM programs up to 7 days after screening, instead of 36 hours.

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At Proximus, we are open to every initiative that contributes to the development of a strong local media ecosystem. Only in this way can we all continue to enjoy the fine local productions that are made in our country. At the same time, it is essential that we can continue to offer the viewer a superior experience, with excellent content and relevant advertisements, at any time and on any screen. We are aware that some people will have to get used to these innovations, but we believe that our approach as a whole is positive for the local media landscape and therefore also for the consumer.

The launch of new viewing and advertising models at Proximus is an important step in the further development of our video ecosystem. Extra viewing comfort in combination with future-oriented advertising models form the basis of a powerful collaboration with Proximus.