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Linear TV still trumps VOD for time spent in ‘surprise’ planning tool findings

Linear TV still trumps VOD for time spent in ‘surprise’ planning tool findings

Broadcast video-on-demand services are not adding “any material viewing time” to advertisers’ media plans if it already includes linear TV and YouTube, consumer behaviour analysts have warned.

Ronny Golan, founder and CEO of ViewersLogic, revealed findings from a new cross-platform measurement tool that, in his view, are likely to surprise media planners.

Chief among these is Viewerslogic’s finding that a plan that includes linear TV and YouTube covers “most viewers”, and that broadcast video-on-demand (BVOD) services like ITVX, Channel 4 and My5 “are not adding any material viewing time”.

BVOD ‘not adding any material viewing time’

Golan told The Media Leader: “Everyone is talking about the importance of advertiser VOD (AVOD) and BVOD and how it should be a major part of any media plan. When looking at the data, we can see that on average users watch 160 minutes of linear TV every day, 40 minutes of AVOD (which includes broadcasters VOD and YouTube) and around 50 minutes of SVOD (Netflix, Disney, Amazon, BBC, NowTV).

“Because SVOD, by and large, doesn’t have ads, it means that VOD has around one-quarter of the viewing time of linear TV. Furthermore, if you look at the breakdown of AVOD you can see that it is almost 75%-80% YouTube.

“In other words, a plan that includes linear TV and YouTube covers most viewers and the BVOD services are not adding any material viewing time.”

‘Not easy’ to reach light TV viewers on other channels

Viewerslogic, which counts ITV and Channel 4 among its clients, claims to disrupt traditional audience research by gathering data from 9,500 UK consumers via a mobile app which monitors their media usage and shopping behaviour in exchange for a fee.

Its new tool aims to show media planners accurate and independently calculated costs per acquisition based on “broad attribution windows”, allowing them to identify the most cost-effective budget allocations for their campaign.

That means that planners can select specific viewing time deciles for audiences, such as isolating the bottom 10% of TV viewers who are more difficult to reach than those who watch TV many hours a day and seeing where they spend their time on VOD services and social media.

This enables brands and agencies to create a cross-media plan that maximises reach, Golan said.

“Common wisdom says that in order to reach users who do not watch a lot of TV (the lower deciles) you need to put your money in AVOD and social. Reality shows that reaching these users is just very hard,” he explained.

“These users watch 140 minutes less linear TV every day but only 10 more minutes on AVOD every day and 10 minutes of SVOD.

“The more surprising stat is that these users use 23 minutes less of social media compared to the average usage time. So while it is much harder to reach them on linear TV, it is not easier to reach them on other platforms — they just consume less media.”

Gaining ‘full picture’ time consuming

Using the proprietary planning tool, brands and media planners, Viewerslogic said, can isolate their target audience using a broad range of filters based on panellist behaviour, such as website visits, app usage, online and offline purchases, TV viewing, general interests and much more, for both their own brand or a competitor.

Henry Daglish, CEO & co-founder of independent media agency Bicycle London, tested the tool and said it would “revolutionise how we operate”.

Daglish said: “Far too often when trying to plan campaigns and allocate budgets effectively, gaining a full picture of cross-channel consumer behaviour has been a time-consuming process with little independent oversight…. It was great to put it through its paces, and I believe it will revolutionise how we operate by allowing us to more accurately model the potential reach and impact of our clients’ campaigns.”

Editor’s note: the original headline for this stated that ‘BVOD’s impact’ was questioned by the findings, when in fact the findings show that the time spent on VOD is small when compared to linear TV’ (neither impact not effectiveness was measured). Apologies to readers for any confusion caused.

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Nick Drew, CEO, Fuse Insights, on 17 Nov 2023
“>Broadcast video-on-demand services are not adding “any material viewing time” to advertisers’ media plans if it already includes linear TV and YouTube, consumer behaviour analysts have warned. I'm one person, but for me this is factually wrong. I watch virtually no linear TV (at the time of broadcast), and don't use YouTube, but catch up with BVOD on things like Bake Off, Taskmaster, and watch shows like A Spy Among Friends on ITVX. I'm not "average", but this does also illustrate why "average" is increasingly challenging to measure campaigns against. It's also noticeable that a fair amount of BVOD content doesn't have many ads running against it, suggesting sell-through could definitely be improved!”
Andy Brown, Consultant , Andrew Brown Associates , on 17 Nov 2023
“Two basic research questions need addressing: 1. The data comes from a non-currency panel. Barb is a purpose built audience measurement solution, and we are it to a panel recruited for compliance to track purchase and media data. My intuition is that the latter will have limitations from a pure audience measurement use case. 2. How has the software tool treated the data from the single source panel? The UK industry has created gold standard calculations for its metrics. It is not clear as to whether they are being deployed in the tool.”
Sam Bumford, Head of Broadcast, VCCP Media, on 15 Nov 2023
“Very interesting read! With so many articles and POVs talking about the death of telly, again, I feel somewhat reluctant to take issue with an article that does the opposite - but I'm going to anyway as I feel the need to air the case for BVoD. Planners generally use BVoD for two things; adding small amounts of incremental reach into an AV campaign or reaching 'hard to get' audiences on TV (16-24 year olds for instance). The exact point of BVoD is that it adds those small amounts of incremental viewers to a linear plan, or it reaches small hard to reach audiences. It doesn't add vast scale or reach or frequency, and it's not intended to. Nowadays, we pretty much always use some layer of clever data for BVoD targeting. Quite often this is at postcode level, and we seek niche audiences where linear TV would be a sledgehammer to crack a nut. Here BVoD excels. I get the point about looking at YouTube as part of these solutions, but the context simply isn't equivalent. Advertisers benefit from the brand safety of a broadcaster controlled environment in BVoD and they also benefit from the association of the platform itself. That is absolutely not to in anyway detract from what YouTube does, but when we put it on the plan aside BVoD and all the other holistic AV channels we look at, we should consider more than just reach. And I don't dispute there are other ways to reach those 'hard to reach audiences' in best quality contexts through the streamers but ... Netflix - It's estimated only 5-10% of current UK users are on the ad tiered model Amazon Prime video can't advertise on it yet (excluding sport) and Freevee would contribute to a small amount of average daily minutes Disney - can't advertise, yet Now TV - Sky BVoD covers ads on this Pluto TV - is 7 seconds per day on average according to latest BARB Finally - wholly agree that we need improved data on which to look at cross-channel planning and to better understand R&F etc, but I wouldn't advise any planner to bin BVoD just yet. Though undoubtedly both the data we have and the TV landscape are changing very rapidly and it's important to keep these topics top of our agenda as planners.”
Vic Davies, Director of Strategy and Marketing Analytics Lab , University of East London, on 15 Nov 2023
“In 2023, do people still watch channels, or do they watch content ? Would it be better to examine viewing, including attention, to types of programming ? And when they watch .”

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