Fears that interactive TV would sound the death-knell for 30-second
ads have so far proved to be unfounded, according to the findings of new
research from MediaCom.
Viewers are just as likely to switch into interactive from programmes as
they are from ad breaks. And in reality, interactive use is much higher
in TV "downtime", such as daytime when people are less intent on viewing
and more in a browsing mode.
Sky Interactive gets its highest conversion rate during the pre-peak
period followed by daytime and early peak, according to the report.
MediaCom has taken the available BARB data to assess the impact of
interactive use by tracking viewing habits minute-by-minute and
comparing it with programme scheduling.
MediaCom's TV research manager, Mark Jankowski, said: "Viewers are
treating interactive as a channel and go there on purpose. Due to the
time investment when they are there, viewers are not necessarily likely
to flick into it unless possibly prompted by interactive
The average time spent in interactive is 18 minutes and a typical
viewing session is rarely longer than 30 minutes, according to MediaCom.
It also found that over the whole day, on average, commercial channels
never lose more than 5 per cent of their ratings to interactive and half
this figure comes in peaktime.
When digital television was launched in 1998, the fear for advertisers
was that viewers would take the opportunity to interact every time a
commercial break appeared. Some advertisers, including Abbey National,
suggested that they would move large amounts of media investments away
from TV spot advertising.
About a third of UK homes now have digital television, a similar level
of penetration to that achieved by the internet.