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SBS advertising

Estimates & Committees
Scott Ludlam 20 Nov 2013

Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications - Budget Estimates 30 May 2013

Senator Ludlum asked:

My next question is really around the March amendments to the SBS Act, in which advertising for SBS digital media services was deregulated. There do not appear to be any restrictions there. I wonder what policy SBS is applying to digital media streaming, catch-up programming and that kind of stuff and whether ads are only placed in natural program breaks, or whether the same logic that is applied to your scheduled programming also applies to your streaming service.

Mr Ebeid: You are absolutely right; there is nothing in our act that does limit our advertising on our online services. However, we have taken a view internally to apply similar guidelines for our TV as we do for our online. In fact, it would be less at the moment. We would have only a couple of pre-rolls, for example, and mid-rolls of programs in our online service, whereas we would have more than that on our television service.

Senator Ludlum: Is it likely to be less overall?

Mr Ebeid: Yes. Overall, I think it would be less because when you are sitting in front of a mobile device or a PC, that time is obviously exaggerated. Sitting through five minutes of ads, I think, would be a bad service for our audiences. We obviously do not want to be providing a bad service, so we have taken a view internally that we would certainly not exceed-and we are using the same rules that we are applying on TV to online.

Senator Ludlum: If there are any metrics lying around that you could provide to us on that-

Mr Ebeid: Yes, that is easy. We do have metrics on that and I can provide them to you.

Answer:

SBS's policy for advertising on its digital media services is that the total duration of
advertisements shown on long form video content (longer than 10 minutes) will be in accordance
with the amount that SBS broadcasts on its television service, that is, a maximum of five minutes
per scheduled hour of content. SBS allows one pre-roll advertisement, up to three mid-roll pods,
and one post-roll advertisement. For short form content SBS allows one pre-roll advertisement for
every three videos within a 24 hour period. SBS follows the recommendations set out in the IAB
Australian Online Video Advertising Guidelines in respect of advertising duration. Ad lengths
will generally be 15 seconds or 30 seconds in length and may be less. SBS may run 60 second
spots in mid-roll breaks during long form videos.

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