Not So Free TV: Why BVOD Advertising is Essential in 2023

What Is BVOD?

BVOD stands for Broadcaster Video On Demand. It refers to video streaming services offered by major TV broadcasters and networks.

Some examples of BVOD services in Australia include:

  • 9Now – The video on demand service for Channel 9, providing catch up and live streaming of Channel 9 shows.
  • 10 play – Channel 10’s BVOD service with a library of Channel 10 programs, live streaming and catch up TV.
  • 7plus – Channel 7’s ad-supported BVOD platform to watch Channel 7, 7TWO and 7mate shows.
  • ABC iview – The ABC’s free streaming service with a vast library of ABC TV shows, live news and exclusive programming.
  • SBS On Demand – SBS’s BVOD service featuring programs from SBS TV channels with no ads.
  • Foxtel Now – Foxtel’s streaming service to watch Foxtel channels live and on demand without a contract.
  • Kayo – The service offers sports live and on demand from Fox Sports, ESPN and

The key aspect of BVODs is that they allow viewers to watch content on demand online from major TV network broadcasters for free (with ads) or via a subscription. This provides more flexibility than traditional linear TV viewing.

Growth of BVOD

Broadcast Video on Demand (BVOD) has seen tremendous growth in recent years as viewer habits shift from traditional linear TV to streaming platforms. BVOD allows audiences to watch free-to-air TV content on demand via broadcaster catch-up services like ABC iView, 9Now, 10 Play and SBS On Demand.

The reach and market share of BVOD has rapidly increased compared to traditional broadcast TV. A 2021 study by OzTAM and Nielsen found that BVOD audiences grew by 23% year-on-year. BVOD platforms now reach 13.6 million Australians each month.

In contrast, average weekly reach for broadcast TV has declined. Metro free-to-air channels saw their total audience reach fall from 11.9 million to 11.5 million between 2019 and 2021.

BVOD’s growth is driven by the convenience and flexibility of on demand viewing. Audiences can now watch programs at a time that suits them, on any device, rather than being restricted to linear broadcast schedules. The platforms have also vastly improved their interfaces, discovery tools and streaming quality in recent years.

This shift presents a major opportunity for advertisers. BVOD provides access to valuable, engaged audiences who are turning away from traditional TV spots. Integrating BVOD into media plans can help brands reach viewers who are increasingly difficult to find via broadcast alone.

Benefits of BVOD Advertising

Broadcaster video on demand (BVOD) advertising provides several key benefits compared to traditional TV advertising:

Targeting Capabilities

One major benefit of BVOD is the ability to target specific audiences. While regular TV advertising targets broad demographics, BVOD allows advertisers to fine-tune targeting based on location, device, browsing habits, and more. BVOD platforms have user registration and can collect more detailed first-party data on viewing behaviors and interests. This enables more precise targeting of ads to relevant viewers.

Viewer Engagement

BVOD also offers higher viewer engagement over traditional TV. Viewers actively choose the content to watch on demand, meaning they are more engaged. And unlike channel surfing with linear TV, BVOD viewers cannot skip ads as easily. The lean-forward viewing makes viewers more receptive to ads. Studies show higher ad recall and purchase intent with BVOD ads.

Ad Flexibility

BVOD provides more flexibility for advertisers to tailor ad formats. Options include interactive ads, overlays, pre-roll, mid-roll, and more. Ad length can be adjusted as well. And performance can be optimized by testing different types of video ads on BVOD. With data on viewing habits, advertisers can also adjust campaign targeting and creative approach for better results.

So in summary, with advanced targeting capabilities, increased viewer engagement, and flexible ad formats, BVOD provides some major advantages compared to traditional TV advertising alone. The high degree of customization enables advertisers to really optimize BVOD campaigns.

Challenges of BVOD Advertising

Streaming video has exploded in popularity in recent years. While this presents great opportunities for advertisers, it also introduces some unique challenges. Here are some of the main difficulties brands face with BVOD advertising:

Fragmentation – Unlike traditional broadcast TV which had a handful of channels, the streaming landscape is fragmented across multiple services like Netflix, Stan, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Foxtel, and more. This makes it harder for advertisers to reach broad audiences and optimize campaigns. There’s also fragmentation within services across different devices used for streaming.

Ad Frequency – BVOD provides more flexibility over ad frequency compared to linear TV. However, brands need to be careful not to overexpose viewers and cause annoyance. There are limits to how many times an ad can be served before generating fatigue. With better segmenting, the right frequency can be optimised.

New Services – The big streaming giants like Netflix are already implementing lower cost subscription models that include a portion of ads. As more of the streaming services start to offer this lower cost but ad inclusive modelling, we will start to see a larger fragmentation of audiences that will be accessible on certain services.

Navigating these challenges takes added planning, research, and testing. But with the right approach, BVOD opens up major opportunities despite its difficulties. Proper execution can lead to highly engaged audiences in a premium streaming environment.

BVOD Advertising Landscape

The BVOD advertising landscape in Australia is rapidly evolving with new players and opportunities emerging. Some of the key trends shaping the space include:

Major Players

  • 9Now: The BVOD platform for Channel 9 offers a wide audience reach and partnerships with major broadcast shows and live sports. Popular 9Now original programming provides attractive sponsorship opportunities.
  • 10 Play: Network 10’s BVOD service has a strong following among younger demographics. It offers creative ad formats like native video ads and branded entertainment.
  • 7plus: As Seven Network’s BVOD platform, 7plus commands large audiences for live sports, news, shows and movies. It provides segmented audience targeting capabilities.
  • ABC iView: The national broadcaster’s platform allows sponsors to associate themselves with premium quality content. It delivers engaged, educated audiences.


  • Addressable TV ads: BVOD platforms are integrating addressable TV ad capabilities to target ads to custom segments. This allows more relevant, impactful campaigns.
  • Binge & Kayo: Foxtel’s on-demand streaming services offer premium sports, drama and entertainment content. Their affluent and passionate viewers are attractive targets.
  • Programmatic ads: Programmatic trading of BVOD ad inventory provides improved targeting, automation and performance. It unlocks greater efficiencies.


  • Ad-supported tiers: Services like 7plus and 9Now are launching ad-supported subscription tiers without pre-roll ads. This may appeal to ad-averse viewers.
  • Mobile optimization: With increasing BVOD viewership on mobile devices, platforms are optimizing for mobile ad formats and experiences.
  • Audience data: Platforms are building their audience data capabilities to enable better targeting and personalization. This allows more relevant messaging.
  • Addressing ad frequency: There is a focus on balancing ad load to avoid ad fatigue while maximizing revenue. Optimizing frequency caps is critical.

Tips for Effective BVOD Ads

With BVOD advertising growing rapidly, it’s important for marketers and advertisers to understand how to create effective video ads for this environment. Here are some tips:

Creative Considerations

  • Keep ads short and impactful – 15 seconds is ideal. Viewers have short attention spans.
  • Use high quality video production. Pixelated or poor quality video will reflect poorly.
  • Consider careful storytelling. Communicate your message quickly and compellingly.
  • Include a strong call-to-action that drives viewers to take action.
  • Test different ad versions to see what resonates best. Iteration is key.


  • Target ads based on viewer demographics, behaviors and interests. BVOD allows refined targeting.
  • Test different audience segments to determine which respond best.
  • Consider frequency capping to avoid over-saturating certain viewers.


  • Ensure ad creative adapts seamlessly across mobile, tablet, laptop, and connected TV.
  • Leverage cross-device tracking to deliver unified messaging as viewers switch devices.
  • Strategize to determine which devices are priority for your campaign.
  • Test renditions for legibility and impact on varying screen sizes.

Following these tips will help craft compelling, effective video ads suited for the BVOD environment. Testing and optimizing based on performance data is key for ongoing success.

BVOD Advertising Metrics

Measuring the effectiveness of BVOD advertising involves looking at key metrics like impressions, completion rates, and brand lift.


Impressions refer to the number of times your BVOD ad is served. This helps determine the total reach of your campaign. However, impressions alone don’t indicate how well your ad actually performed.

Completion Rates

The completion rate shows the percentage of viewers who watched your entire BVOD ad. A high completion rate means your ad held viewer attention. This demonstrates engagement and indicates your ad resonated with the target audience.

Brand Lift

Brand lift shows how much your ad increased key brand metrics like awareness, consideration and favorability. Advertisers can measure brand lift by conducting surveys before and after a BVOD campaign and comparing results. Positive brand lift suggests your BVOD ad achieved its branding goals.

Tracking metrics like impressions, completion rate, and brand lift provides tangible insights into how your BVOD ads are performing. This data helps you optimize future BVOD campaigns for improved results. Selecting the right metrics to gauge campaign success is key.

Case Studies

Examples of successful BVOD ad campaigns

BVOD advertising has seen some highly effective and innovative ad campaigns in recent years. Here are a few standout examples:

Toyota’s Clever Interactivity

Toyota ran an interactive ad campaign on 9Now BVOD tied to the 2022 Australian Open. Viewers could play tennis against the pros using just their device’s camera to control paddle motions. This created strong engagement and brand association with a major sporting event.

Menulog’s Contextual Targeting

Menulog cleverly aligned their food delivery ads on BVOD to match relevant program contexts. Ads for quick bites appeared around sporting events, while ads for date nights displayed around romantic comedy shows. This contextual relevance resonated with viewers.

Ultra Tune’s Binge Partnership

Ultra Tune sponsored an entire season of the reality show Below Deck on Binge. Their ads were seamlessly integrated into the binge-worthy program, achieving high viewability. Sponsoring relevant premium content is an impactful BVOD strategy.

Tourism Australia’s Emotive Storytelling

Tourism Australia ran an ad on 9Now featuring powerful storytelling around travelling with family and friends. The emotionally resonant creative effectively drove interest in domestic holidays amidst the pandemic.

Lynx’s Gamified Ads

Lynx created mini-games for their BVOD ads, like slaloming down a mountain or playing basketball. The interactive and rewarding experiences increased ad completions and brand favorability, especially among younger male viewers.

Future outlook

The future looks bright for BVOD advertising in Australia. Here are some predictions for where things are heading:

More personalized and targeted ads: Advertisers will be able to leverage user data to serve ads that are highly customized to individual viewers based on their demographics, interests, viewing habits and more. This will increase relevance and engagement.

Further growth in BVOD ad spend: As BVOD audiences continue to grow, ad dollars will follow. More brands will allocate a portion of their TV ad budget specifically to BVOD as it provides better targeting capabilities. Total BVOD ad spend is expected to surpass $500 million by 2025.

Continued improvements in ad formats: We’ll see ongoing innovation in ad formats beyond the traditional 15 and 30 second spots. More interactive and immersive ads will emerge which create deeper engagement and recall.

Ad-supported tiers: Services like Netflix have and will introduce lower priced subscription tiers that include ads as a way to open up their platforms to advertisers and appeal to budget-conscious viewers.

Better attribution and measurement: Tools will improve to track how BVOD ads directly influence site traffic, product searches and sales. This will help demonstrate the medium’s performance and value.

Increased competition for ad inventory: As more advertisers seek to reach BVOD audiences in Australia, advertising inventory on the most popular services will become more scarce and expensive. Advertisers will need effective strategies to stand out.

Rise of addressable TV: Data-enabled linear TV advertising will blend with BVOD targeting capabilities for integrated and omnichannel campaigns with expanded reach. Addressable TV unlocks customized ads even for live audiences.

The next few years promise to be an exciting and transformative time for BVOD advertising in the Australian market with new opportunities for brands to reach engaged viewers. Flexible, creative strategies will be key to success.


Summary of Key Points

  • BVOD (Broadcaster Video On Demand) refers to the online platforms of major TV broadcasters where viewers can stream programs on demand.
  • BVOD has seen tremendous growth in Australia recently as more viewers shift to streaming content online rather than traditional live TV.
  • Advertising on BVOD provides major benefits like highly engaged viewers, targeting capabilities, and ability to extend TV campaigns.
  • However, BVOD advertising also comes with challenges like audience measurement, ad frequency capping, and platform fragmentation.
  • The BVOD landscape is dominated by players like 9Now, 10 Play and 7plus but niche platforms are emerging too.
  • Effective BVOD campaigns combine creativity with data to optimize for completion rates and other key metrics beyond impressions.
  • There are opportunities in BVOD advertising for brands in 2023 but require a strategic approach tailored to this channel.

Call to Action for Advertisers

The continued growth of BVOD presents a huge opportunity for brands wanting to engage streaming audiences in Australia. To capitalize on BVOD in 2023, advertisers should:

  • Invest in creative that is optimized for streaming and on-demand environments.
  • Leverage audience insights and target strategically based on BVOD viewer demographics.
  • Test and learn across BVOD platforms to determine what content and ad formats resonate most.
  • Monitor campaign performance closely through both platform metrics and third-party measurement.
  • Look for opportunities to extend TV campaigns through integrated BVOD executions.
  • Work closely with BVOD partners to navigate and optimize campaigns in this evolving landscape.

The time is now for brands to develop their BVOD strategies and get ahead of the ongoing shift to streaming video. Contact us today!


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