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ABC Talks Sweet About VOD But Can’t Cover Up Its Inability To Monetize It 30 September 2015

Advertising Week NY ABC Lisa Heimann

ABC has a love-hate relationship with video on demand: The network loves the young, affluent and highly engaged audience but hates the fact that VOD viewers can’t be fully monetized using Nielsen’s current measurement tools.

VOD took center stage today at an Advertising Week session in New York, where ABC unveiled its ABC Unified: Videobiquity Insights, a multiplatform audience analytics tool. The network touted the advantages of video on demand over other platforms while decrying its inability to monetize that audience. VOD platforms use among MVPDs (multichannel video programming distributors) was up 14 percent last season, while streaming was up 25 percent.

Audiences that watch online or via VOD “actually watch more” of a program than those watching the same program on traditional, linear TV, said Lisa Heimann, VP of research for ABC. Online viewers watch 44 percent more of an episode than linear viewers, and VOD viewers watch 49 percent more of a program. One reason for the disparity is that linear viewers can tune into a program that is already airing, while VOD and online viewers start from the beginning of shows. “When people make that active choice, they’re heavily engaged,” Heimann said.

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