Sky and Virgin Media have announced a partnership that aims to persuade advertisers of the continued merits of TV advertising in the UK and Ireland.

The two broadband, mobile and TV rivals plan to combine technology, such as Sky’s AdSmart platform, with customer data in a bid to compete more effectively with an internet advertising market that is dominated by Google and Facebook.

However, detals of the precise nature of the partnership and how the data and technology would be shared between the two competitors were scant.

According to a PwC report yesterday, the internet advertising industry in the UK is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8.2 percent between 2016 and 2021, reaching £14.1 billion at the end of the period and accounting for 53 percent of all advertising spend.

Within that, mobile internet advertising is set to be worth £8.1 billion having grown at a CAGR of 17.1 percent.

Although TV advertising is set to grow at a CAGR of 15.1 percent over the same timeframe, it will be worth just £455 million in 2021.

Sky and Virgin said their combined audiences of more than 30 million viewers were “on par with leading social networks”.

The partnership covers both linear and video on demand advertising, they added.

At the same time, both companies continue to invest in their content portfolios.

Sky has signed production deals with HBO and Altice this year.

[Read more: Virgin Media’s Mr TV talks talent, targets and telcos]

Virgin Media CEO Tom Mockridge said: “Quality programming deserves to be supported with quality advertising.

“In partnering with Sky we’re putting the UK and Ireland at the forefront of TV advertising innovation.

“We’re giving consumers advertising that is more relevant to them and giving brands a trusted destination to deliver intelligent, tailored TV campaigns to a targeted audience.”

Andrew Griffith, Sky’s Group Chief Operating Officer added: “TV remains the most effective and trusted advertising medium there is and continues to innovate at pace.

“Addressable TV is the high quality, brand safe and transparent medium that leading brands have already been adopting in their thousands.

“Today’s partnership takes that to the next level with the extension of AdSmart to millions more homes meaning more relevant ads for Virgin customers and a larger platform for advertisers.”

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