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The only constant is change - how brands can keep up with the BVOD opportunity

Explore the transformation of BVOD and find out more about what marketers should consider as they review the marketing activities for 2021 and beyond

In this final article of three, Magnite’s Australian Managing Director James Young speaks with Sophie Hicks Lloyd, Director of Digital Sales at Network 10 to explore the transformation of BVOD and find out more about what marketers should consider as they review the marketing activities for 2021 and beyond.  

The old adage that the only constant is change is one that would resonate strongly for most marketers and it’s particularly true when describing the traditional TV model and evolving BVOD ecosystem.

Research released in January by Roy Morgan revealed that adoption of BVOD is now growing faster than subscription platforms such as Netflix. The number of Australians watching BVOD from the five free-to-air networks increased some 67% from 2019 to 2020 as they discovered the free alternatives available to them.

As consumers shift their attention to BVOD, TV buyers are understandably seeking more efficient ways to conduct buys at scale to reach them. Previously, to obtain sizable reach, TV buyers needed relationships with dozens of different partners to conduct dozens of 1:1 transactions, but today programmatic saves advertisers time by allowing them to tap into inventory from multiple sources with fewer transactions, without sacrificing quality or scale.

As a result, publishers are thinking about their businesses more holistically, breaking down the silos between programmatic and direct. Indeed, Australian broadcasters are leading the charge here, as Sophie Hicks Lloyd outlines.

How has digital adoption changed your business focus and structure over recent years?
Our digital offering has been integrated and considered into every part of the business since 10 play launched in 2013. In recent years, our 10 play audience has grown along with our digital leadership team, content library, technology investment, ad opportunities and data measurement capabilities. And since joining ViacomCBS, 10 is part of a broader global strategy focused on driving digital growth.

How do you use data and insights into audience behaviour to inform your content strategy?
Because we have a clear line of sight into who is watching 10 play from a gender, age and volume perspective we gain valuable insight into what is working and what is not. For 2020, one of the more interesting insights was that while our tent-pole shows continued to bring in the big numbers, ‘middle-content’ shows are king. There’s been a huge resurgence of interest in shows that originally aired a decade ago, like The Secret Life of Us.

How do you see the BVOD ecosystem evolving over the next 12 to 18 months?
Research by ThinkPremiumDigital shows the fastest growing share of the advertising market pie is Broadcaster Video on Demand (BVOD). The addition of co-viewing data, which, for the first time, shows how many people are watching broadcaster content on internet enabled TV makes its effectiveness game-changing. We’ve had a great response from agencies and clients alike with the majority of our clients, from huge multinationals to smaller retailers, keen to build a one-to-one data strategy in 2021.

Additionally, the launch of VOZ is set to bring together linear and digital audience measurement, giving buyers the quantifiable data they need. Which in turn elevates BVOD's share of media budgets.

How has your approach to trading changed over recent years, and where do you see it heading?
Upfront deals and commitments allow clients to get their pick of sponsorships and premium properties. However, we have partners who are shifting the way they buy towards automated means. We find this strong programmatic demand really encouraging and our focus has shifted to ensure the same opportunities are available via direct or programmatic sales. For example, our Australian-first ‘Premium Pause’ product (which allows 10 play users to pause show content and be served a targeted, video-enabled ad opportunity) can be bought programmatically in 2021 to meet demand from our agency partners.

Another key focus for us in 2021 will be helping brands facilitate ecommerce. 2020 saw the renaissance of QR codes as consumers have become so used to ‘checking-in’ to venues, so watch this space in terms of innovation in that arena.

Read more about how broadcasters are preparing for the changes to BVOD: