Jul 5, 2012

PBS and six member stations experimenting with donation requests on COVE

PBS and six stations are collaborating on a pilot project for the Prosper online giving initiative, to create "call to donate" ads for online audiences, according to the PBS Station Products & Innovation blog.

"Advertising on already benefits PBS stations," the blog notes, "because the revenue made from these efforts helps fund PBS programming. This experiment is investigating how to best integrate calls to donate into COVE," or Comprehensive Online Video Ecosystem, PBS's local-national video platform.

Five pre-roll videos have been created for the test: Three will be paired with drama, nature or science content, and two "mimic viewer advisories,” the blog says. The 15-second pre-roll ads give instructions to click on a donation link that will be tied directly to a local station’s fundraising page. PBS will compare results for each genre of pre-roll videos with click-through rates and actual donor conversions. Findings should be ready by the end of October.

Stations participating in the experiment are Iowa Public Television; KPBS in San Diego; KLRU, Austin, Texas; PBS SoCal in Los Angeles; WGVU, Kalamazoo, Mich.; and Chicago's WTTW.

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