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BVOD – The 5 Ws and an H

BVOD is an ever-increasingly used acronym amongst sales houses, agencies and clients. But what actually is BVOD and how can we plan and measure it as part of our media plans? Here is a snapshot…

The who, what and where?
BVOD stands for broadcaster video-on-demand, which is the content and programming made available on-demand by the TV broadcasters Sky, Channel4 and ITV. Numbers show if BVOD were a TV channel, it would be the second most viewed TV channel. Consumers love to catch up on the quality programming that these broadcasters provide and figures show BVOD viewership is growing, as a result, driven by viewing through TV sets. Channel4 have recently reported that their second series of “End of the F*** World” is their first show to be watched more on BVOD than linear. However, despite all the talk surrounding BVOD and these increasing numbers, it is still a very small percentage of overall TV viewing – an additional 4.5% (according to 2018 figures).

When and why would advertisers buy into BVOD?
As with any advertising format, there are pros and cons to buying BVOD and these need to be weighed upon an individual advertiser basis.

Looking at the pros; BVOD is currently delivering more scale than any other online video platform and Sky research has shown that compared to user-generated content viewers see BVOD as higher quality premium content, which advertisers know is safe and would want to be associated with. As well as being safe, BVOD has zero ‘bot’-generated ad views and an average of 92% view-through rate from start to finish, therefore advertisers can have the confidence their ads are being viewed by consumers.

When buying BVOD you can be highly targeted to specific audiences, including buying by channel, region, age and social demo, programme genre, interest groups, mosaic groups, etc. – meaning no audience wastage! These targeting capabilities are also fuelled by high-quality first-party data that the broadcasters have collected themselves from willing users, not purchased from a third party.

BVOD can add additional audience reach to a linear TV campaign, and Sky can target by ‘light linear viewers’ to reach this additional audience.

On the other hand, BVOD can be an expensive way of reaching your target audience. Cost per thousand (CPTs) start at c.£20+ with premiums increasing by targeting layer, therefore buying BVOD can be 10 times more expensive per thousand for the same eyeballs in comparison to linear TV. From a cost per acquisition (CPA) perspective, the response of the customer, therefore, must outweigh the cost in order for the media to be efficient.

On BVOD you don’t benefit from a pricing perspective when buying shorter second lengths than 30” (there are no second length factors below 30”) – so one to bear in mind if you have different length creatives.

Reporting and measurement are limited across BVOD campaigns. BVOD can’t be measured in the same way as linear TV, as impacts are served on an individual basis, therefore, are not reported on individually, but on a more macro level. The most granular sales houses are currently reporting on is impacted by day and daypart – which can make analysis and optimisation difficult, particularly for a CPA campaign.

And finally – the how. How can we measure BVOD?
Despite the current lack of measurement, the industry is working hard to develop systems and capabilities. BARB is running Project Dovetail, with the aim to deliver total reach of the programme and commercial audiences across multiple screens including BVOD campaign performance. Back in May, Sky Media announced their global expansion of CFlight, a unified advertising metric that captures all live, on-demand and time-shifted commercial impressions on every viewing platform. Sky also offers a brand evaluation service to determine the impact BVOD has had on brand uplift, which involves a test vs. control survey questionnaire. However, there is usually a cost involved and advertisers need to invest a minimum of 2 million impressions to use the service.

As well as brand measurement metrics there are ways in which we can measure the success of BVOD on acquisition key performance indicators (KPIs);

  • Unique offer code – Using a unique offer code or URL on the BVOD creative allows advertisers to track acquisition using that specific code and directly attribute customers back to their BVOD viewing.
  • Click through rates – when buying clickable BVOD advertisers can track click-throughs onto their website (this can’t be done on the big screen).
  • Daily econometrics – advertisers can analyse the impact of daily impressions delivered by BVOD in relation to KPI numbers to gauge uplift and CPA vs. other media. This would usually require a certain volume of BVOD impressions to gain a robust result.
  • Regional uplift – If the BVOD is running regionally you can measure the uplift on KPIs vs. other control regions.
  • Survey or dropdown – asking the consumer what drove them to site via a dropdown survey, which could include ‘ad on catch up’ as an option.

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