In the age of on-demand and streamed TV content, it’s often thought that channel logos are losing influence when it comes to TV viewing choice. But, Viacom Global Insights’ latest report The Role of Channel Logos and On-Demand Platforms finds that brand affinity still plays a crucial role in TV viewing selection.
To see what role channel logos have on navigation and content selection in an on-demand environment, Viacom created an online survey using two versions of an on-demand platform that had the look, feel and functionality of a regular platform. One version featured titled cards and show descriptions with channel logos and one left off the logos. It then ran a blind test where several hundred US and UK on-demand TV users aged from 12 to 34 saw one of the two versions. The survey asked them to select shows to watch and then asked them basic questions about the usability and navigation of the platform they were served. They were then shown both versions of the platform and asked which they preferred.
It found that consumers, including the younger generation, still rely on their knowledge and loyalty towards an entertainment brand when it comes to determining what they watch; that viewers make TV show selections faster when channel logos are present; viewers perceive the same content as more interesting and current when channel logos are present; and, that viewers find that channel logos make it easier to decide what to watch.
This research has been invaluable in helping Viacom further its collaborative conversations with its partners, says Christian Kurz, SVP of Viacom Global Consumers Insights. “At Viacom we operate a number of on-demand platforms ourselves ranging from My5 in the U.K., the PlayPlex suite of apps and Paramount+ in the Nordics and CEE, so these findings are immediately relevant to the development of our own products. In addition, we closely collaborate with our distribution partners – ranging from cable and satellite providers to SVOD operators – on how best to present content in their on-demand platforms to the benefit of the consumer…
“I think the particular relevance here is in the context of channel branding generally decreasing. The findings from our research clearly show that when it comes to selecting a new show to watch, the channel brand or logo is an incredibly important element for consumers, and its removal does a disservice to the audience. Even if the consumer doesn’t particularly notice or overtly value it, we have shown that the presence of branding speeds up their decision making significantly, so the sub-conscious influence is undeniable. What’s more, this is even more true for younger audiences, who arguably have the least familiarity with those logos or brands.”
Contrary to popular belief, branding could be more important than it has ever been before. “We’re living in the golden, some say platinum, age of television with more content available than ever before. That makes deciding what to watch more complicated for consumers and brands are one important criteria that consumers of all ages actively use in helping to inform those decisions,” concludes Kurz.