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Video Channel 4 4oD

Channel 4 CEO David Abraham talks about 'making the datavision a reality' with its use of data driven ad platforms


By Stephen Lepitak, -

February 1, 2013 | 4 min read

Channel 4 CEO David Abraham has revealed that the broadcaster intends to introduce new bespoke targeted digital advertising platforms this year as it aims to “make the 'Datavision' a reality”.

Speaking at yesterday’s Lead summit held by the Advertising Association, Abraham discussed the data held by the broadcaster through its online platforms, with over six million registrations being recorded by the end of last year.

He also highlighted statistics including one in three of all 16-24 year olds in Britain being registered with the broadcaster in the UK, adding 10,000 registrations each day. Meanwhile, Video-on-demand platform 4oD delivered half-a-billion streams last year, with over seventy hours of catch-up content and 5,000 hours of archived content.

“Television has remained remarkably resilient but it is going through an exciting period of evolution with its enhanced brand awareness, which is being augmented with an equal ability to connect with consumers,” explained Abraham before moving on to discuss the broadcaster’s use of data.

“From the outset we have been able and clear with our viewers, through our viewer promise about how we will use the data. We have reminded them of the relationship between our free-to-air model which is not-for-profit, and the great content that they can enjoy with us. Our experience has proven that the audience has an appetite to share information in return for great connect,” he stated.

He continued by stating that Channel 4 would focus on increasing its number of registrations across more platforms, while aiming to drive viewers engagement with content.

“We already know that 60 per cent of 4oD views on come from registered, logged in users but we wanted audiences to further reap the viewing benefit of interacting deeply and to use these greater insights to further enhance our advertising offer,” he explained. “During 2012 we worked with a number of blue-chip clients to trial new data-led approaches to advertising. We partnered with brands to merge their databases with our own, to match shared customers and recreate client segments, allowing us to offer video-on-demand packages specifically targeting individuals then to track post-viewing purchasing behaviour to measure return on investment. We launched eight new digital ad products which provide advertisers more opportunity to engage with audiences.

He went through some of those digital ad product launches and their offerings such as Ad Elect, Ad Social and Ad Interact before revealing that further services would be rolled out in 2013 in a bid to offer “deeper audience insights” to advertisers.

“Advertisers will be able to focus on people, rather than just audiences and we will be able to exploit advertising interaction data, effectively allowing advertisers to target people know to be in specific categories based on previous user engagement and actually behaviour. We want to be able to make more handshake introductions between databases seeking to match the database information held by brands and consumers and we can do this at a much deeper level because of the investments that we have already made.”

He also discussed the planned release of Adapt, a tool that will allow advertisers to run targeted adverts to 4oD users, based on their age, gender and location, through the Channel 4 database.

“This means that different people, based in different parts of the country, will receive a different bespoke ad on 4oD. So an ad for a department store is called up, Adapt will recognise a user's data to create a version of that ad with content tailored to that person with a product or local store promotion.”

He said that the offering of highlight targeted digital VoD campaigns would help it to continue the ambition to “make the Datavision a reality,” which would also include second screen platforms.

“We are currently focused on On-demand viewing but over time, as connected viewing becomes more widespread and reaches the main TV screen, with products such as YouView, we believe we will be able to roll out these innovations across the majority of TV viewing,” Abrahams also predicted, before stating that he believed YouView would also grow at “a healthy pace” this year.

Video Channel 4 4oD

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