Ads get more attention on digital, says report

Television viewers are more likely to pay attention to ads on digital channels than those on terrestrial stations, according to research commissioned by BSkyB.

The study, by BMRB, found viewers enjoy programmes more on digital channels because they are more likely to find something they want to watch. As a result, they pay more attention to ads. However, the research did not test participants on recall rates.

Terrestrial channels, such as ITV, are still watched because they are traditionally the main channels, according to the report.

But in the survey of 2,000 adults, ITV broadcasts did not feature in the top ten of the enjoyed programmes. ER, on E4, was number one, with BBC1’s Only Fools and Horses making the first terrestrial entry at number four.

Appreciation levels for digital television are highest among 15to 34-year-old ABC1 viewers, which BMRB identifies as the key consumer group for broadcasters.

The report argues that despite digital television’s relatively small viewing figures, it is “a powerful medium through which to speak to an attentive and segmented audience”.

Julian Dobinson, head of research at BSkyB, says: “There have been concerns that there’s a lot of channel surfing on digital television and people don’t pay attention to ads. But viewers are paying attention because they are seeking programmes out.”

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