VOD Planning and buying

Planning & buying Broadcaster VOD

Broadcaster VOD offers a full range of opportunities for advertisers. In this section you’ll find advice on the strategic roles it can fulfil, information on targeting and data and some questions to ask yourself when planning and buying Broadcaster VOD advertising

Key points

  • Advertisers are using Broadcaster VOD for all sorts of reasons, from generating incremental reach and driving response, to accessing top programmes and creating interactive brand experiences.
  • Broadcasters own quality, first-party, volunteered data, at scale, which open up new and innovative opportunities for advertisers
  • Broadcaster VOD ads command a premium which is attributed to demographic bias, their closeness to excellent, trusted content and click-ability.

Broadcaster VOD’s strategic role for advertisers

Broadcaster VOD viewers are highly attentive. It’s a premium, one to one, environment where the viewer clearly understands the trade-off between commercial messages and the delivery of quality content when and where they choose. Here are some reasons advertisers are using BVOD:

Incremental reach

Complementing a linear TV campaign with VOD activity can provide incremental 1+ and other low frequency reach to an advertising campaign.


Linear TV advertising has the ability to be highly targeted with a judicious selection of channels and programmes. VOD is no different.   However it has the additional ability to deliver personalised advertising, at a household level for a shared set or at an individual level on personal devices.   The data used to activate addressability can take various forms (see targeting and data section below).


Pre-roll ads delivered via the web have a return path and most are clickable.  These can deliver strong response levels compared to other online display and this makes VOD advertising the ideal stepping stone between brand advertising on linear TV and advertiser websites.


VOD advertising campaigns can significantly increase brand metrics such as awareness, purchase intent and favourability, over and above a standard TV campaign. (Channel 4’s ‘In VOD We Trust’ research by OMedia showed that ad awareness more than doubled among VOD viewers, with 30% aware of the campaigns on VOD compared to 13% for non-users)


The broadcasters have developed different formats to encourage viewer interaction with brands.  In addition to a response, VOD ads can offer deeper brand immersion experiences for viewers, such as games, competitions and extended information. These are often referred to as iVODs.

Accessible on many platforms and in a variety of physical contexts

Broadcaster VOD is available to enjoy on TV sets, PCs, tablets and smartphones – pretty much anything with a screen!  And because of its mobility, people can see VOD advertising when they are in contexts that encourage purchasing or other actions: e.g. on transport pre-shopping trips or commuting.

Low cost access to special TV events

A brand may not be able to access certain types of flagship programming within their broadcast plan, but there are opportunities to place their ads around award-winning shows in BVOD. Although most advertisers use VOD to support their broadcast activity, some have run on-demand only campaigns.

Targeting and Data

Depending on the Broadcaster, you can target VOD audiences based on the following:

  • Socio-demographics: ideally this is acquired directly from subscribers or website registered users who trust broadcasters with their personal data and have volunteered it.  Broadcasters like ITV and Channel 4 are investing a lot in the development of quality first-party data sets.
  • Geographics: this offers advertisers increased granularity in terms of targeted specific locations.
  • Content context: programme, channel, genre
  • Other data: from volunteered household/user information, advertisers’ own customer information, public data sources (e.g. Experian, Acorn) or behavioural data.
  • Platform: Sky Go has also introduced the ability for advertisers to target by platform i.e. Xbox, Android, Apple iOS or PC.

Channel 4 uses 11 million registered users on its database to drive delivery of known 16-34 adults.  Building on the data, it will be possible to target behavioural audiences, based on previous activity and viewing patterns.

Share A Coke 4OD

Buying Broadcaster VOD

  • VOD is usually 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 e.g. Comedy, Food, Entertainment, Run of site.
  • VOD ads command a premium which is attributed to demographic bias, their closeness to the content and click-ability.
  • 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.

Things to consider when planning & buying Broadcaster VOD

Choose channels and programmes that fit your audience profile in a similar way to linear TV, but be aware that the audience profiles are different from those on BARB.

  • Consider patterns of viewing across the campaign period. There are significant spikes during programmes such as BGT and X Factor.
  • Ensure that your campaign is frequency capped to the appropriate level, but be aware that this is only possible if the viewer accepts the appropriate cookie message from the site.
  • Creative execution – will your existing TV commercial be appropriate? Many advertisers simply use an existing TV commercial, but could you tailor the ad to better suit the environment?
  • Should the commercial be interactive? If so, should you consider one of the creative formats available from the broadcasters or even work with them to create a whole new viewer experience?
  • How do you plan to use your VOD to complement your linear TV campaign?
  • 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
  • If you would like any more information or advice on planning and buying Broadcaster VOD, please contact Rupen Shah, Thinkbox’s Head of Planning.


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