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Business case studies No 218 - 04.05.2018

BVOD: The Bigger Picture

At a time when scandals around brand safety and measurement on digital platforms are abound and advertisers are shifting budgets, three UK broadcasters and their marketing body joined forces to prove the value of on-demand video to marketers and agencies.

To meet the growing demand from agencies and after collaborating on projects including The Big TV festival, Channel 4, ITV and Sky, alongside Thinkbox, teamed up to produce the biggest ever study into broadcaster video-on-demand viewing: “BVOD: The Bigger Picture”.

Recent research from Ebiquity and Radiocentre has shown that marketers are undervaluing the impact of TV, radio and print – despite evidence proving they perform much better than most digital media when it comes to brand building. While on-demand in all its forms has gained popularity, up until now the effectiveness of broadcaster VOD as a premium channel for advertisers has lacked any robust measurement, making it increasingly harder for marketers to justify putting their spend there.(See also our recent egtabites on smaller case studies done by IP Belgium, TF1 and research by Channel4)

What are the key findings?

The extensive research puts forward key insights, placing the emphasis back on the value of long-term brand building.

Firstly, TV remains the prime and trusted advertising real estate. Over the last 10 years the UK broadcasters have invested huge amounts in improving the way viewers can access their offer.

  • TV, in all its forms, is the most popular form of video, accounting for 71% of all time spent watching video. (This figure is also available for 14 other countries, in the Global TV Deck available for download here).*
  • The average view-through rate for Broadcaster VOD is 93%.**
  • Advertising playing full screen will have a greater sales impact than ads playing on a smaller proportion of the screen (see also egtabite 193 for the recent study by Karen Nelson-Field).
  • VOD’s ROI increases as the proportion of Broadcaster VOD increases. Research shows that online video campaigns that consist of a high proportion of BVOD perform very well, whilst the campaigns that have a low proportion of BVOD don’t. 

Secondly, combining linear with BVOD proves a potent combination, driving campaign effectiveness considerably.

  • BVOD is an important part of the TV ecosystem with at least 70% of viewing taking place now on a big screen.**
  • BVOD delivers a lot more viewing than campaign-impressions would lead you to believe - 1.6 additional viewers on average across all platforms.**
  • Advertising on BVOD alongside linear TV increases campaign effectiveness and amplifies brand perception with regards to quality, value for money, consideration, innovation, brand affinity and talkability.

Thirdly, BVOD delivers highly ‘absorbed’ viewing situations, as people are viewing shows together, creating a positive mood.

  • Due to these viewing situations, BVOD produces greater happiness and engagement with content.
  • BVOD creates greater brand impact and advertisers are viewed in a more positive light
  • BVOD can work on its own but using both linear and VOD together is the most powerful combination for an advertising brand.


ITV and Channel 4 combined their first-party data for the first time to generate a comprehensive view of audience BVOD behaviour. The study involved 2,626 diaries and 27,054 BVOD viewing occasions over two two-week periods to determine who is watching, with whom and on which platform. The average number of BVOD viewing occasions across the two-week diary period was 12.1 per viewer. The data was then modelled along with variables from All 4, ITV Hub, Barb and YouGov to determine how many viewers there are per view (1.6), followed by a ‘test and control’ ad effectiveness survey and qualitative in-home interviews.

Sky’s campaign effectiveness is based on Sky’s viewer panel (500,000 Sky households). Viewer samples are extracted for actual campaign exposure for linear + BVOD versus linear only exposure. BDRC Continental contacted the ad exposed sample groups for brand effectiveness surveys. BDRC analytics appends actual ad exposure data to the survey data, allowing rich analysis across the merged data sets


* 2017, BARB / comScore / Broadcaster stream data / OFCOM Digital Day / IPA Touchpoints 2017 / Rentrak
** 2018, ITV/Channel4/Sky/Thinkbox/ The Bigger Picture



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