New research suggests that advertising on Video on Demand is cheaper and more impactful than using social video commercials.

The study was ordered by Channel 4 and used its marketing data, but was carried out by independent agency, COG Research and Durham University neuroscientist Dr Amanda Ellison.

It suggests that advertisers are paying more per minute for completed ad views on YouTube and Facebook, where viewers are more distracted from the content, compared to TV VOD.

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So the cost per thousand (or minute) for broadcast VOD completed ads is around 20% cheaper than YouTube and a third the cost of Facebook – when tested against C4 VOD headline cost and using analytics from Channel 4 marketing data.

“These research results are compelling and support what we already know to be true – that BVOD is a far more effective and efficient use of brand marketing spend than social media platforms,” said Jonathan Allan, sales director, Channel 4.

“It’s particularly timely as Google and Facebook face further calls to take responsibility for brand safety and viewing measurement and should give advertisers and agencies much to consider as they evaluate their marketing mix and media investment decisions”

According to the report:

  • Advertising on Broadcaster VoD commands 3.5 times greater attention levels than advertising on YouTube
  • Three quarters (73%) of minutes ‘watching’ YouTube on tracked devices showed that the ads and videos were hidden from view due to users using them as background music play-listing behind other tasks
  • 53% of YouTube advertising is viewed in an attentive state, compared to over 85% of viewing time to Broadcaster VOD ads
  • In over 30 hours of Facebook passive usage, only three commercial video ads were viewed for longer than 3 seconds, of which the longest was for 3.5 seconds
  • Almost half of the time Facebook users were observed, they were in constant scrolling mode with just enough time to scan posts. 7 in 10 of them said they actively scroll past video ads
  • Ads on Broadcaster VoD are more likely to be viewed in full screen, with sound, and all the way through to the end than non-broadcaster VoD

The data was gathered through 48 16-44 year olds across the UK. They used 100 hours of eye tracking and skin conductance data. A sub-set of these homes were also tracked across their Laptop/PC using Camtasia screen capture software.

The study also determined viewers’ implicit (rather than explicit) responses to VOD brands and content, with 1000 respondents.