Innovid, UK's Channel 4 Team Up On Interactive

Channel 4, the British broadcaster, today is announcing what it claims will be the first-ever interactive commercials beamed via a TV player in the UK working with cross-platform solution provide Innovid and three advertisers.

In another  sign that viewers may be going back to the future even as they abandon big chunks of the past, Channel 4 said that while its on demand mobile viewing rose 33% year over year, OTT on demand views via big TVs had a 51% share of all views via all kinds of devices available on Channel 4’s All 4 on demand/all device service. That’s up 35% over a year ago. Similarly, in the US, the action seems to be with mobile phones and that big thing in the living room. 

A lot of Channel 4's gains come from increased use of Amazon and PlayStation but also via set-top boxes and SmartTVs.

So putting interactive advertising in there is following the audience. Channel 4, which has done interactive on other platforms for the last fiver years, worked with Xbox, Alzheimer’s Research UK and Burberry for its first spots. 

The first ads show up on Roku devices in a few days, giving consumers the choice to watch different ads or more content, or just order product right then and there.
There certainly are interactive ads on OTT devices already--Hulu asks which ads I’d like to see--but the Channel 4 enterprise seems to be fairly elaborate, based on a sample reel from which viewers can open up the video to see more product examples.

Tal Chalozin, Innovid’s co-founder and CTO said in a statement. "We truly believe premium, long form television content will be viewed on a large screen and the data shows viewers believe that as well. This time around, the large screen is smarter, personalized and more engaging than ever. . . “

At the same time Channel 4 is collaborating with Innovid to launch something it calls Ispon, a supposedly revolutionary suite of digital sponsorship formats. For that  Ispon is working with Mitsubishi, Domino’s and Sofology, a furniture retailer in England.

At a tech conference in Cologne, Germany a couple months ago, Innovid unveiled its interactive TV-to-mobile (TV2M) tech that lets a view input a mobile phone number from a TV remote control to get extra content, like a coupon or Website address via text or SMS. The idea is to connect devices or second screens for advertisers to use to reach an ever fragmented, and yet, ever connected, audience.
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