Channel 4 has unveiled plans to launch a digital, private marketplace for its TV catch-up service 4oD, which will relaunch under the All4 brand next year.
The move will see the broadcaster offer advertisers access to its first-party viewer data on All4 – home to popular shows such as Homeland and Masters of Sex – letting them trade video inventory programmatically for the first time.
The broadcaster, which unveiled the news at its Upfront event this afternoon, has claimed the move to be a first for a European broadcaster, and forms part of an exclusive partnership with Freewheel, with demand-side platform support from AOL’s Adap.tv; Videology and TubeMogul.
Meanwhile it has also signed a slew of brands as launch partners for its interest-based ad targeting formats for video, due to roll out next year.
Procter & Gamble, Baileys, Missguided, Very, and Rightmove are among the first to test the new targeting format, which pulls in interest and behavioural data from the broadcaster's 11.5 million-strong registered user base.
Earlier this year Channel 4’s head of digital partnerships and innovation, Jonathan Lewis, told The Drum that it expects to phase out genre-based ad selling in the next few years, predicting that more than half of all ads on its TV catch-up service will likely be sold via demographic and interest-based targeting by 2016.
Speaking at the Transforming TV segment of the Channel 4 Upfront event today, Lewis described the addition of automation and programmatic buying as a “game changer” for the commercial TV video-on-demand (VOD) industry in 2015.
He said: “With demographic targeting now representing over 20 per cent of our total digital advertising revenue – and the world’s first ever individually personalised digital campaigns with Coca-Cola and Burberry launched on 4oD this summer – our data strategy continues to future proof our business, driving increased revenues and creative innovation.”
Meanwhile the broadcaster is also turning up the heat on YouTube, as it looks to prove that its own VOD ads are “more valuable” than Google’s video platform.
It has been working with Cog Research and neuroscientist Dr Amanda Ellison from Durham University to develop a study which has revealed that advertising on TV catch-up players “outperform” other video and social platforms including YouTube, for viewer acceptance, engagement and attention.
The research involved the use of eye tracking to measure where viewers are looking when exposed to ads, as well as Skin Conductance Response (SCR) sensors, incorporated into skin patches, which measured viewers’ “electrodermal response” using their skin as a conductor of electricity.
It unveiled the following results from the study, (source - Channel 4):
- Channel 4’s on-demand player (4oD) grabbed 80 per cent of respondents’ attention versus YouTube’s 20 per cent.
- YouTube’s cluttered visual environment increases the work a viewer’s brain has to do by 50 per cent as they process what to watch next whilst the ads are playing, reducing their ability to concentrate.
- Five seconds of free YouTube airtime is unlikely to be of any significant benefit as viewers were impatient to skip the ad when given the option to do so and less inclined to engage and opt in.
Via the new All 4 website viewers will be able to watch live streaming of all Channel 4 TV services, including E4, More4 and Film4.