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C4 study claims YouTube and Facebook video less impactful than broadcaster VoD

21 Mar 2017  |  David Pidgeon 
C4 study claims YouTube and Facebook video less impactful than broadcaster VoD

Kick em while they're down! Channel 4 has today unveiled new research that it says proves ads on YouTube and Facebook are more expensive and less impactful than on broadcaster video on demand (VoD).

The study, carried out by Cog Research and neuroscientist Dr Amanda Ellison at Durham University, claims advertisers are paying more per minute for completed ad views with YouTube and Facebook in an "environment where viewers are more distracted from content, or not watching at all" compared with TV VoD.

The news arrives as Google-owned YouTube is under intense scrutiny following a series of brand safety issues. A host of major advertisers, including the UK government, have since pulled their ads from the platform after The Times revealed their ads were helping fund extremist content.

Meanwhile, Facebook is slowly recovering from the admission it had inflated video ad views for almost two years, much to the ire of advertisers.

Channel 4's research, published during Ad Week Europe, found that the "true" cost per thousand (or minute) for broadcaster VoD completed ads is around 20% cheaper than YouTube and a third of the cost of Facebook, including organic views.

The research also found that commercial broadcaster VoD delivers "significantly higher engagement levels, completion rates and watch time for advertisers" than VoD ads on YouTube and Facebook.

Additionally, 53% of YouTube advertising was said to be viewed in an "attentive state", compared to over 85% of viewing time to broadcaster VOD ads.

“These research results are compelling and support what we already know to be true - that broadcaster VoD is a far more effective and efficient use of brand marketing spend than social media platforms," said Jonathan Allan, sales director, Channel 4.

"It’s particularly timely as Google and Facebook face further calls to take responsibility for brand safety and viewing measurement and should give advertisers and agencies much to consider as they evaluate their marketing mix and media investment decisions."

The research, carried out on 48 16-44 year olds from across the UK, observing 100 hours of eye tracking and skin conductance data, as well as testing with 1,000 respondents, also claims that ads on broadcaster VoD are more likely to be viewed in full screen, with sound, and all the way through to the end than non-broadcaster VoD.

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01 Jul 2020 

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