Consumers are 5X more likely to view advertising within non-premium content as low quality 

Consumers are 5X more likely to view advertising within non-premium content as low quality  Duncan is an award-winning technology industry analyst, specialising in cloud computing, blockchain, martech and edge computing.

Music video network Vevo, and UK broadcaster Channel 4 have released the findings of a joint study, ‘Retaining Trust and Quality in a Sea of Content’. 

The survey of 1,000 British consumers (ages 16 to 40 years old who regularly watch video content) identified and quantified the factors that boost the value of ads consumed within ‘fit for TV’ content on YouTube. 

Advertisers benefit from being adjacent to premium content in three key ways, according to the study.

Viewers are more likely to watch premium content in superior environments – and as a result are open-minded to seeing ads as part of that experience.

Premium content is 3.2x more likely to be viewed on a TV than non-premium content, meaning:

  • It is more likely to be watched socially, organically boosting reach
  • Viewers enjoy longer, dedicated sessions, enhancing engagement
  • The content is enjoyed in a more relaxed, immersive setting, increasing reception

With the bigger screen experience, respondents were more open to and expected ads, as they are seen as standard in this environment. 

Audiences are more likely to have a positive emotional response to watching premium publisher content – creating a positive halo effect on advertising brands.

The study found an almost 50% uptick in people who either liked or loved fit for TV content vs. non-premium content, translating into significant benefits for ad exposure within these environments, such as higher levels of attention paid to the ad (more than 2x that of non-premium). Those that enjoyed the content they consumed were also twice as likely to consider the brand in the future. 

The ad itself was also considered more enjoyable and shareable in ‘fit for TV’ content, with 62% of respondents having said they enjoyed the ad they saw when they liked or loved the surrounding content (vs. 28% who watched the same ad in content that they did not enjoy). Additionally, these premium content viewers saw noted improvements in their impression of the ad brand, with 61% having recalled seeing their favourite ad being within premium content.

Brands advertising with premium publishers are assumed to have increased value, credibility, and trustworthiness.

In most cases, trust and believability metrics were doubled when an ad was found within premium content. Conversely, negative connotations for that brand decreased five-fold.

Similarly, quality and desirability of brands saw a significant upswing from being within premium environments. In fact, the study reported nearly 3x more positive perception through placement within premium content, while ads in non-premium were 5x more likely to be perceived as low quality.

Overall, the expectations of advertising brands are fundamentally elevated when situated within fit for TV content, with the association that ads and the content they sit with have a similar quality.

James Cornish, senior VP, International Sales & Partnerships, Vevo, said: “Vevo partnered with Channel 4 on this research to help unlock insights that can help advertisers navigate an increasingly complicated and ever-growing video landscape. Both Vevo and Channel 4 are committed to professional production standards and consistent high quality that cuts through. For advertisers, not all content is the same and nor are publishers. As this research shows, premium publishers’ content delivers significant advantages: a safe and positive environment that fosters trust, prestige, and receptivity.” 

David Amodio, deputy head of digital innovation and 4Studio, Channel 4, said: “Since the launch of 4Studio, our social content production and distribution arm, we’ve built a significant presence across a number of the tech platforms. We’ve achieved this by distributing both established TV content and original content through new channels such as 4.0. It’s been a learning curve understanding how to cut through and find new audiences, but we wanted to team up with a global established expert like Vevo, who shared our production values and standards. Our objective was to gain a better understanding of the benefits on offer to advertisers through accessing TV content within these new environments vs all the other video content available.”


Flood + Partners surveyed 1,000 U.K. consumers, ages 16-40 years old, who regularly watch video content in June 2023, through their highly engaging and dynamic platform ‘Honesty Box’.  Respondents were offered to choose which content they wanted to watch from a selection of videos within their groups, to make it more representative of natural viewing outside of a survey setting. Questions were gamified, capturing instinctive responses and high engagement.

400 of these respondents were recontacted for a follow-up survey to understand how their response to the material they saw might have evolved over time. For the qualitative portion of the research, 16 consumers also participated in a “deep dive”, which included a five-day daily diary, daily vlog, and final one-on-one Zoom interview.

BARB’s latest ‘Fit for TV’ framework served as the benchmark to define which content is premium vs non-premium. Content from Channel 4 and Vevo was tested as premium content vs. selections of content that doesn’t meet ‘Fit for TV framework’.

Interested in hearing leading global brands discuss subjects like this in person? Find out more about Digital Marketing World Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America, and Singapore.

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