What role do channel logos play for users of on-demand platforms? How do logos impact their viewing experience – and what effect do they have on their content choices?

In our latest study, The Role of Channel Logos, we developed an online survey that contained an on-demand platform with the look, feel and functionality of a regular service. This platform had two versions: one with channel logos and one without. This set-up allowed us to run a blind test in which half of our sample of nearly 2,700 US and UK on-demand users aged 12 to 34 saw one of the two versions. Our survey asked them about the usability and navigation of the platform they were served. At the very end, we showed them both versions of the platform and asked which they preferred.

Here’s what we learned:

Channel logos make a platform feel more innovative and better-designed. Respondents who saw the version with channel logos were 12% more likely than those with the logo-free version to describe the service as “innovative” and 4% more likely to say it was well-designed. (With a large sample of nearly 3,000 people, a difference of 4% between two groups is statistically significant.)

Viewers perceive the same content as more interesting and current when channel logos are present. Those who had the platform with channel logos were 4% more likely than those without to describe it as having quality shows, as well as 4% more likely to say it has the latest shows.

A platform with channel logos feels more user-friendly – especially among teens. The group with the “channel logo” platform was 10% more likely to describe their platform overall as “easier to use than other services” (12% more likely among teens). They were 4% more likely to believe it was easy to find a show (6% more likely among teens).

Channel logos make it easier to decide what to watch. When we asked an open-ended question about what made the platform easier to use, it became clear that channel logos convey information that simplifies their viewing choices. As a 29-year-old male in the US told us, “It gives you everything you need to know without having to dig around.”

Viewers make show selections more quickly when channel logos are present. Channel logos provide valuable information that speeds up viewing decisions. Those who saw logos chose their shows almost 40% faster than the group without logos (an average of 1 minute, 26 seconds for the “channel logo” group, compared with 2 minutes, 16 seconds for those without channel logos).

When considering shows, on-demand users look for 3 things: channel logo, star rating, and show description. These 3 pieces of information help answer their questions so they can make an informed choice. (Is it from a network I trust? Do others think it’s any good? Does it sound like something I’d enjoy?) Without channel logos, users felt the platform was disorganized and found the selection of shows less appealing. In fact, 81% agreed that seeing a channel logo is as important as knowing what a show is about and who is in it.

Viewers overwhelmingly prefer a platform with channel logos! After we showed all respondents a side-by-side view of the platforms with and without logos, their preference was clear. More than 8 in 10 (84%) said they wanted to see channel logos on the platform.