Advertisers will now be able to receive unprecedented insights into the effectiveness of interactive advertising through a new research system implemented by satellite broadcaster BSkyB in the UK.

Companies providing interactive advertisements on the Sky platform will now receive detailed estimates of the number and profile of users that interact, in addition to data generated by actual responses.

“Sky View delivers a massive breakthrough for interactive advertising,” said Robert Leach, head of interactive services at Sky Media. “For the first time clients will have electronic measurement of how many people pressed the red button on their ad, rather than just how many go on-line. This is the key part of the jigsaw that has been missing up until now, particularly for branding campaigns.”

Representative usage data will be generated by Sky View, a new panel of 20,000 homes in which set-top box use is measured electronically. The panel is almost four times larger than the existing television industry supported BARB research panel, providing more detailed information about the viewing habits of digital satellite viewers.

Advertisers using the Sky dedicated advertiser location or DAL interactive format will receive a comprehensive report on the results of the interactive campaign. Aggregate data provided will include the number and profile of households using the interactive advertisement and the average time spent interacting, with a breakdown of interactions by day part and day of week.

Previously, advertisers have had to rely on data captured through the return path to validate the effectiveness of their campaigns. The ability to gauge interactions without requiring users to go online will provide better insights into the effectiveness of interactive advertisements, especially those intended to build brands and awareness rather than elicit a direct response.

The availability of usage data comes as Sky is in the process of negotiating interactive advertising deals with commercial channels which are looking for lower charges for interactive campaigns.