22 January 2016
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Are all TV audiences created equal? In Germany, Sky Media’s study finds that some are more equal than others.
  • Research highlights several advantages of Sky subscribers for advertisers
  • The research identified four main categories of viewers, each with different characteristics
  • Sky Media has integrated the findings into a wide-ranging B2B communication campaign in order to maximise the business effect


As part of its efforts to better understand its audience and develop its brand positioning to the market, Germany’s Sky Media has conducted new research, titled The Better Viewers (Die BesserSeher) that sheds light on the differences between Pay TV and Free TV viewers.

The study identifies a number of key characteristics of the Pay TV audience that make it highly desirable to advertisers. The findings have been developed into a strong B2B image campaign that seeks to strengthen Sky Media’s position on the German advertising market.

The study

The research project, based on fieldwork conducted during December 2014 and January 2015 and using CAWI interviews, compares the household incomes, interests, preferences, affinity to advertising and television viewing habits of Sky customers with people who do not subscribe to the service.

Research findings: the four categories of Sky’s Better Viewers

The research allowed Sky Media to better understand its audience, and it has defined four categories of viewers: the advanced moving-image enthusiast, the demanding fiction lover, the satisfied TV connoisseur and the sociable TV enthusiast.

The motto of the advanced moving-image enthusiast is “work hard play hard”. Typically male, with an above average income and higher education level, this viewer is an early adopter, opinion leader and trendsetter who sees TV as an event and uses video on-demand heavily.

The demanding fiction lover tends to be female, with a passion for movies and series. She enjoys binge-watching multiple episodes and is extremely communicative, success-orientated and likes to work hard and keep fit.

The satisfied TV connoisseur lives by the motto “sofa + TV = pleasure”. Likely to be male and a bit older, he takes to the sofa directly on getting home from work, particularly for football or other sports – indeed, he rarely misses a live sports event. Interested in technology and cars, this viewer tends to record his favourite movies and shows to watch at his leisure.

Finally, the social TV enthusiast. Active in his leisure time, this viewer enjoys TV as part of the social experience with friends and family, with whom he maintains very regular contact. His TV highlights are live, online, on-demand or via a hard drive recorder, all of which are used to create a special occasion.

Sky viewers: a desirable target group for advertisers

The research showed that Sky homes have, on average, 36% higher household incomes than Free TV homes, and that they have 48% greater disposable income. As a group, Sky viewers are more interested in today’s more technologically advanced and flexible ways to access television content.

This group is also particularly brand conscious, emphasising quality over price across several consumer categories. They are favourable towards advertising on Sky’s channels, and the research found a significantly higher chance of brands achieving activation by advertising on Sky than on other channels.

Using The Better Viewers to strengthen Sky Media’s position on the market

Sky Media has woven the findings of this research into a number of B2B marketing channels, including the following:

  • Three press releases including the results
  • Exclusive print and digital placement in the magazine HORIZONT, the leading German media B2B magazine
  • Twitter communication
  • Communication within the blog of Martin Michel (Managing Director Sky Media)
  • Incorporating the study as an important part in Sky’s annual agency roadshow
  • Including a communication of the study in the Sky Media email boilerplate
  • Major promotion of the study on the Sky Media website
  • Placement of the study on the website of the group of TV marketer Screenforce
  • Placement of the topic of the study in various discussions, talks and presentations
  • Including the results in media proposals

Why this matters for egta members

Having a deep understanding of its viewers can help a broadcaster better segment its audience and position itself towards advertisers. Sky Media’s case demonstrates how research comparing its own viewers and subscriber households to Free TV viewers can shed insights on preferences, behaviours and affinities, and how these can be used within a wide-ranging communication effort.

Research on its own is interesting, but as Sky Media demonstrates, it can only make a meaningful business impact if its findings are integrated across all possible B2B channels.

Target: TV
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Background info

Please click on the links below to access the relevant documents:

» The Better Viewers sudy (please click here)

» Sky Media website (please click here)

Download in PDF

Please click here download the PDF version

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