Registration will be key to monetising free VOD, says Channel 4’s Rose

Winning viewers over to the concept of registration will be key to the success of monetising advertising-supported content as TV viewing increasingly migrates to video-on-demand, according to Sarah Rose, commercial and business development director, Channel 4. 

Speaking at the DTG Summit in London yesterday, Rose said that Channel 4 now had over seven million registered viewers thanks to its 4oD service. She said the broadcaster had taken care to assure viewers that their privacy would be respected and data taken good care of, and had provided incentives to register.

Rose said over time viewing would move on-demand and it was therefore important for advertising-supported businesses to invest in registration for the long term as it would enable new advertising models to be implemented.

Rose said registration would enable Channel 4 to monetise VOD advertising more effectively. While the channel would “keep an eye” on subscription models, its business will continue to be primarily ad-based, she said.

She said registration would also enable Channel 4 to personalise the 4oD home page, and that the personalisation techniques used will become increasingly sophisticated over time.

Rose said that promotion and curation were the keys to increasing VOD usage. She said that, while catch-up TV is the main driver, viewers like archive content when they find it.

On average VOD accounts for only 5% of total viewing, but it can be up to 35% for youth-skewing shows likes The Inbetweeners or Made in Chelsea, she said.

“Younger skewing programmes and cult shows skew very high in this market,” she said.

Rose added that VOD viewing was growing more rapidly on mobile devices, and this could have an impact on content.

“If lots of viewing is going to mobiles people don’t always have time or connectivity to watch long form content, but they are happy to watch ‘snackable’ content, and that is something we are keen to tap into,” she said.