BVOD Is Moving TV “Further & Further Down The Funnel”: The Trade Desk’s Ashton De Santis

BVOD Is Moving TV “Further & Further Down The Funnel”: The Trade Desk’s Ashton De Santis

Television ads have always had one big advantage over their social media counterparts — trust.

New research has revealed that Australians who tune into Total TV — linear TV and Broadcast Video On-Demand (BVOD) combined are almost four times as likely to trust those ads compared to the spots they see on social media.

Six in 10 BVOD viewers watch catch-up content at least once per week and around 2.5 million viewers choose it over linear TV every week. In fact, Gen Z is most likely to watch BVOD content regularly and more than seven in 10 regularly consume BVOD content in its live-streamed format. Meanwhile, nearly two in five claim that they expect to stop watching linear TV altogether by 2028.

That dichotomy presents an interesting challenge for marketers, according to The Trade Desk’s Aston De Santis (pictured).

“Traditionally, TV has been used for mass brand advertising but because of the advent of BVOD and FAST (free ad-supported TV), there is a lot more targetability available in digital consumption,” he explained to B&T.

“The digital consumption of that medium is bringing them some target-ability. It’s getting them further and further down the funnel.”

Linking a TV campaign to performance uplift has often been challenging for marketers. Metrics such as brand uplift and brand awareness are obviously important, but marketers now routinely decry vanity metrics and look for demonstrable return on investment.

“There are linkages you can make from a brand campaign down to a performance level. Obviously, you’re not going to get clicks on TVs but you can understand the role that the medium plays in the path to conversion or how we get people to convert,” said De Santis.

“Social is obviously going to be there from that last click point of view but it’s very important to see that TV and BVOD and plenty of other channels have a role to play in driving consumers down that path to conversion.”

As mentioned, TV has the distinct benefit of trust over social media. De Santis explained that this is a result of the medium’s longevity, but also the cost of buying a spot.

“TV is generally more expensive and higher reach. You’ve got brands that are in an environment with there are a lot more people watching. That means if a brand doesn’t live up to the expectations it sets out, they’re a lot more likely to be called out by consumers because there are actually more people seeing ads, whereas on social it’s more of a one-to-one and it’s a little less trustworthy just by nature of the medium,” he said.

Of course, it is hard to put a numeric value on trust — especially when it takes such a long time to engender and can be lost at the drop of a hat, just look at the problems afflicting Twitter (sorry, X).

“To be trustworthy, you need to be associated with premium content,” said De Santis.

“In any of those TV-like environments, it might not have to be linear or a traditional broadcast, it could be BVOD or FAST, where you have different variations of your audience — you might have a younger audience in that environment if they are live streaming more — being associated with any form of mass reach is always going to be important.”

In fact, the mass reach and positive association garnered through TV is so important that De Santis would even recommend brands and teams with just a few pennies to rub together to get involved.

“Even with a small budget, it [BVOD] needs to be considered to be included and not just carved out to social.”

Of course, The Trade Desk’s bread and butter is the open internet. Combining these manifold channels and inventory with a dedicated BVOD campaign could see brands receive the benefits of reach from TV with the individual ad tailoring and clickability available through digital channels, whilst retaining trust.

“You might be getting someone on their morning commute and they’re listening to a podcast. Then they might go to a news site and they might see your ad again. Then they’re at home and watching BVOD on their favourite channel later that night and, if they’re exposed to an ad in different iterations, though different creative in those top-of-funnel channels, there’s obviously a performance benefit on the open internet,” he explained.


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