LONDON: As Google comes under intense scrutiny about the placement of ads on inappropriate websites, a new study has increased the pressure with a claim that ads served on commercial TV VoD are cheaper than on YouTube or Facebook.

The research, which was conducted by UK broadcaster Channel 4, found the true cost per thousand (or minute) for broadcaster VoD completed ads is about 20% cheaper than YouTube and a third of the cost of Facebook.

Channel 4 worked with independent agency Cog Research and neuroscientist Dr Amanda Ellison at Durham University to reach these findings and said the cost is cheaper even when including Facebook's organic views.

The broadcaster also claimed that advertising on commercial TV VoD, such as its own All 4, generates far higher engagement with 3.5 times greater attention levels than on YouTube.

In addition, it said around half (53%) of YouTube advertising is viewed in an attentive state, compared to over 85% of viewing time given to broadcaster VoD ads.

What's more, compared with All 4 ads, completed advertising video views are 62% lower for YouTube and over five times lower for Facebook.

Channel 4 explained that the findings stemmed from a series of in-home studies of 48 consumers from across the UK, who underwent eye-tracking and skin conductance analysis. Cog Research also tested implicit responses with 1,000 people.

Accordingly, it was found that, for almost half the time that Facebook users were observed, they were constantly scrolling with just enough time to scan posts. Seven in 10 of them said they actively scroll past video ads.

And concerning YouTube video and ads, it was found that in 73% of minutes spent "watching" them, they were actually hidden from view because people used them as "background music play-listing behind other tasks".

"These research results are compelling and support what we already know to be true – that BVOD is a far more effective and efficient use of brand marketing spend than social media platforms," stated Jonathan Allen, Sales Director at Channel 4.

"It's particularly timely as Google and Facebook face further calls to take responsibility for brand safety and viewing measurement and should give advertisers and agencies much to consider as they evaluate their marketing mix and media investment decisions," he added.

Data sourced from Channel 4; additional content by Warc staff