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On-demand TV is helping people watch more of the TV they love
Watching live linear TV will remain dominant even when all homes have access to TVoD services on their main TV set. There are too many basic human needs that it serves for it to be otherwise; the latest social media trends for instance are only increasing the desire to see live TV and then talk about it.
However, TV on-demand offers viewers more choice and convenience, an excellent way to catch-up, to act on a recommendation or to explore the rich TV archives, and all of this at a time that suits them. So, we see time-shifting and place-shifting of TV content and some good old-fashioned programme bingeing from time to time.
In terms of viewing habits, on-demand TV’s popularity has not so far affected the amount of time people spend watching linear TV. In fact linear TV viewing has grown to record levels in recent years just as on-demand has established itself, partly because it helps people catch-up with the linear services.
So on-demand TV viewed on devices other than TV sets is almost entirely incremental. However, as more on-demand TV services become available directly to TV sets, it is probable that some portion of linear TV will be substituted for on-demand.
Advertisers can, of course, benefit from an association with self-selected content from a trusted source, ad synergies, tight targeting and extended reach.
(If you just want to find out more about the technologies currently delivering on-demand TV, what people can get via these services, plus some of the latest facts and figures, you can do that in our TV Technology section here.)
Why are they watching on-demand TV?
- People watch on-demand for all sorts of reasons: for increased choice, more control, Me-time, a bit of content bingeing, to time shift something, to place-shift it (watch it somewhere else), perhaps to discover new stuff, but in most cases, they watch it to catch up.
- 89% of on-demand TV is watched to catch up with linear TV, up 14% since 2008. The Decipher / Thinkbox’s Tellyport Study found that catching up with live TV is the main reason for the vast majority (89%) of on-demand TV viewing, and that the desire to use on-demand services to catch up has actually increased in recent years, up from 78% in 2008. On-demand viewing is seen as ‘back-up’ viewing and the amount of on-demand TV watched to discover new TV shows has halved since 2008, shrinking from 22% to 11%. The shift has happened as watching TV on demand has become more established; there has been a 25% jump in the number of people claiming to watch TV on demand, up from 64% in 2008 to 80% today, within the sample, which represented the most digitally enabled households.
- Broadcaster catch-up services are the most popular destinations. The Decipher research also showed that broadcaster-owned on-demand services are the most popular destinations for viewers. 71% claim to watch BBC iPlayer (up 15% since 2008), 39% watch ITV Player (up 15%), 36% watch 4oD (up 36%), and 12% watch Sky Player (up 6%). 33% claim to watch TV shows on YouTube, which was not a destination for professional TV content in 2008 but which has recently struck deals to show content from professional broadcasters including Channel 4.
- The growth in catch-up TV also means that people are becoming more selective about what they watch, with 59% of those questioned claiming they are now more selective about their viewing compared to 30% in 2008. This underlines how people are taking more control over what TV they choose to watch.
When do they watch?
- 40D reports that weekend and week days between 8pm and 10pm is the peak for on-demand viewing (amassing 50% of total views over the 24 hour period.
- Linear schedules are the biggest influence on TVoD with most BARB recorded viewing happening close to the broadcast (50% within a day, 24% within 1 or 2 days, 11% within 2 to 3 days etc)
Planning on-demand TV
- The main benefit of advertising around on-demand content is incremental reach.
- TVoD can be interactive, adding a return path to additional web content
- The viewed content is specially chosen
- If watched on a PC, the advertising is more likely to be watched alone, rather than in a shared context and thus suits campaigns where that sort of targeting is desirable
- Ads can be served in a pre roll (before the content), in a mid roll (in a centre break) or in a post roll (after the content has finished). Clearly, if a viewer is likely to stay watching after the content has finished, they need to be encouraged. Usually, there will be an incentive in the pre roll that invites them to stay viewing for the post roll and gives them a reason to watch
- It is also possible to sponsor broadcast programmes and their online versions: e.g. Honda sponsoring C4 documentaries on air and online
Other things to think about before you start
- Should you also have an accompanying banner? Recent research has suggested that the combination of pre roll plus banner is very effective for advertisers
- Which programmes are going to offer the most relevant environment for your ad?
Current TVoD advertising opportunities
On-demand TV can be delivered in three ways
- Web TV via the internet
- IPTV (Internet Protocol Television)
- Local storage via satellite (to Sky+ boxes)
Here’s a quick run down of the current advertising opportunities across these options from the main UK TV companies
Advertiser opportunities on Web TV
On broadcaster services such as ITV.com, 4oD, Sky Player, Cartoon Network and Demand Five, the opportunity for advertisers is to get close to each piece of requested content with pre-rolls (where the ads are shown before or while an online video loads) and mid-roll advertising, which a bit like a normal mid-show break in broadcast. Some these ads can be clickable (interactive).
Of course, individual shows can be sponsored – as can genres - and there are opportunities for brands to create branded content (advertiser funded programming), or branded microsites or games.
Typically advertisers can target their advertising by genre (Drama, Soaps, Sport, etc), by programme or by buying audience. Other packages can also be designed to include such things as “all archive content” or “all catch-up content” for a set period.
Also, because the content sits in a TV company hosted environment there are also genre based targeting opportunites “on site” around the programme content, such as leaderboard, MPU, double MPU, skyscrapers and companion ads.
Where the TV companies distribute their catch-up or archive content to third party sites online, such as YouTube and SeeSaw, the associated pre and mid rolls can also be bought through the broadcaster sales houses.
Sky AdSmart was introduced last year on Sky Player, Sky’s online TV. It uses information provided by their customers to substitute standard ads with ones that Sky believe are more relevant to their interests. This “opt in” service was launched on the Sky Player in March and since then has featured 18 AdSmart Campaigns, enabling up to 93 segmentations of the Sky Player audience, including regional breakout, household affluence and lifestyle clusters.
Here are some of the brands carried on 4oD in 2010 Q1
Research from 40D reports that people’s view of VoD advertising indicates that they appreciate the fact that the ads keep the programmes are free to watch and prefer it if the ad breaks are kept short, entertaining, creative and relevant. The research also found that for most campaigns there were significant improvements in ad and brand awareness and that metrics such as brand values, advocacy, purchase consideration are all significantly improved.
Advertising opportunities on IPTV
Channel 4 and Turner Media Innovations also deliver their programming content via IPTV partners such as Virgin Media, TalkTalk and BT Vision. Viewers can watch this non-linear programming on their TV sets for free because it’s advertiser funded, with the advertising being sold by the originating sales house
Pre and mid rolls at varying lengths are available by package as are sponsorship and bespoke advertiser-funded programming (AFP).
Advertising opportunities on local storage via DTRs
Sky Anytime is Sky's push Video on Demand (VOD) service on TV. Accessed via the Sky EPG (Electronic Programme Guide), 85% of the Sky programmes on Sky Anytime are available to advertisers. With an average household size of 1.53, this equates to around 15 million adult views per month that advertisers can buy into.
There are no ad breaks on Anytime TV. As with most online TV, the advertising opportunity is pre and post roll slots. The pre roll allows for up to 60 seconds prior to the programme and is sold in conjunction with a post roll slot of up to 3 minutes. Brands such as Sony, Adidas, Warner Bros, Fox and Ford have used pre and post roll ads in this market. Adidas, for example, with their All Blacks creative, use the shorter pre-roll as a signpost to watch longer advertiser curated content (branded content) at the end of the show you’ve requested.
You can explore this one for yourself in the Thinkbox Interactive Emulator.
Buying on-demand TV
How is it bought and sold?
- TVoD is sold on a cost per thousand basis with a fixed price agreed up front for a specified number of impressions (ads served).
- It’s possible to buy a variety of different packages from an individual programme to a genre package eg. Comedy, Food, Entertainment, Run of site
- TVoD ads hold a premium which is attributed to demographic bias, their closeness to the content and clickability.
- Normally, the advertiser will employ a third party tracking service to measure impressions served throughout the campaign, although the broadcaster will provide this information as well
Who do you buy it from at the TV companies?
- Each TV company has a specialised sales team for TVoD. These sales people will monitor your campaigns and be your point of contact throughout. Please see below for a list of key contacts
How quickly can you get a campaign going?
- In an ideal world, campaigns should be approved at the same time as TV airtime: i.e. approx. 8 weeks prior to start date. This would enable full access to all your desired content.
- It should be possible to buy impressions after AB deadline but your access to certain content will be limited. In most cases, you will need to get your ad to the broadcaster 5 days in advance
Sales House on-demand contacts
Georgina Parnell, Commercial Manager, Future & Digital Media, Channel 4 Sales
0207 306 8177
Rob Hicks, Digital Sales Manager, ITV
Kirk Valis – Head of Online Sales
Turner Media Innovations
Colleen Kearney, digital sales director
020 7693 0952
On-demand TV advertising
What type of advertising formats are being used and researched for Web TV? What do consumers think of them and how can these incremental ad opportunities benefit advertisers? Zoe Fuller, Planning Manager, Thinkbox explains in this bite-size film.
RESEARCH: As households invest in broadband, WIFI and laptop technology, the opportunity to consume TV online is gaining momentum. Together with Work research, Thinkbox have examined the impact and implications of internet TV. Using a variety of qualitative and quantitative techniques, this research looked into the usage of and attitudes to online TV; the profile of users; their motivation for watching; the relationship between broadcast and online television; the viewer response to the different online TV ad formats and the implications for the advertiser.
TV Technology: Boxing Clever was held on Thursday 11 March 2010 at the Soho Hotel, London. The event was the latest in a series themed around the liberating impact of new TV technologies and focussed on the wonders of the multifarious smart boxes which are attached to our TVs. If you weren't able to come along to the event or access our live webcast on the day, you will be able to catch up with all the action by watching the event on demand here
TV on demand (TVoD) enables viewers to get more of the television they want at a time that suits them. All the major TV companies offer an on-demand service in some form or other and there are also a number of aggregators operating in this area. This section of our website focuses on the technologies currently delivering on-demand TV, what people can get via these services, plus some of the latest facts and figures. We also explore what’s coming next for the world of on-demand.