Get rewarded for watching TV
Using the second Sky slot for loyalty
Sky Television has finally found a customer to use its set top box second slot for a loyalty scheme.
Nuts TV is the first broadcaster to use the second slot in Sky boxes for a loyalty card although theoretically the potential has been there for years.
Last month the Turner-owned satellite lads TV station, home to scantily clad babes, cage fighting and fast cars, launched TV’s first interactive loyalty card. It will enable Nuts TV viewers with a Sky set-top box to gain points for watching certain programmes. These can be redeemed against third-party offers from brands including Kitbag, Just Eat and Dixons.
The scheme, which Turner hopes will generate new revenues from promotions and help strengthen the Nuts TV brand, is the first time a third party has used the second slot in the Sky box for a loyalty programme, despite the technology being well established.
If it works for Nuts TV, there will b e an inevitable stream of other broadcasters wanting to join in. Soon, people will probably only watch TV ads if they are paid.
“We launched the Nuts TV loyalty scheme in order to have a direct channel of communication between broadcaster and consumer, and to give us a deeper understanding of our viewers’ habits,” says Damon Letzer, commercial director at Turner Media Innovations. “The card also creates exclusivity around the channel and allows viewers to feel part of a club. With a million viewers each week, the Nuts TV audience is now at the right size to exploit partnerships like this.”
Broadcasters can use the loyalty card to influence viewer behaviour by providing them with rewards and discover more about viewers’ lifestyle and TV habits.
Adam Maher, director of loyalty at Maximiles, a European loyalty scheme business whose customers include American Express, Coca-Cola, Dell, Fiat, IBM and Pioneer, supplies the online platform for the Nuts TV loyalty scheme. He says customers taking part in loyalty schemes spend 18-34% more each time they shop compared to customers who aren’t in the scheme. “When analysing the return on investment for each partner, we’ll agree to what extent a change in behaviour is attributable to the loyalty scheme versus other factors that could influence customer behaviour,” he says.
Having a clearer picture of their viewers may also give broadcasters a stronger hand when dealing with advertisers. The Sky View audience panel, which uses a chip in the Sky set-top box to record viewing habits, tells the broadcaster, for example, whether programmes are watched live or recorded and what ads are viewed or skipped. Sky also asks panel members about their lifestyle — their car, profession, family and so on.
Paul Hastings, director of MiCard, which manages the loyalty scheme for Nuts TV, says that despite the Barb audience viewing figures for the TV industry and initiatives such as the Sky View audience panel, broadcasters still have relatively little information they can give advertisers about who’s watching their programmes.
Sky says it hasn’t developed the second slot idea, because it preferred to let third parties use the facility, although it did launch a credit card with Barclaycard a few years ago which enabled payment for content and TV shopping. It was not successful however, and is now a normal credit card.
When the slot was activated in 2004 there were high hopes it would usher in a range of loyalty schemes from broadcasters, betting operators and retailers butthis didn’t happen.
How the nuts tv loyalty card works
Viewers register their details by phone and are sent a smartcard through the post. By inserting this into the second slot in their Sky box, they accumulate points by pressing the red button while watching the lads channel.
Points are stored on the card’s memory chip and converted into a digital voucher. A message pops up on screen during certain programmes instructing the viewer to press the green button to collect loyalty points. These can be redeemed at the loyalnuts.tv website and the information on viewing habits is sent back to the broadcaster.
Adam Maher, director of loyalty at Maximiles, which supplies the online platform for the Nuts TV loyalty scheme, says it will give broadcasters a clearer idea of what their viewers want. “It may not be a technological breakthrough but it represents a breakthrough in the way broadcasters can interact with their viewers,” he says.
“It’s the advent of viewer relationship management. Interactive two-way communication hasn’t been available between the broadcaster and viewer previously because the same things have been broadcast to everyone,” he adds.
Some 7.4 million households have Sky boxes and Sky is hoping to increase this to 10 million by 2010. If boxes become intelligent enough, they could be used to communicate individually with viewers, and encourage declining viewers not to cancel their subscriptions and move to Freeview.
Currently most Freeview boxes do not have a slot which would allow viewers to use a smartcard.