Digital TV losing out to web video

Online sites such as YouTube help voluntary organisations target niche groups better, according to nfpSynergy report

The proportion of charities using digital TV as a communications tool has fallen from 16 per cent to only 2 per cent in the past four years, research has found.

Virtual Promises, a report by sector consultancy nfpSynergy, surveyed 187 charities in November and December and found that the percentage of organisations using digital TV was significantly down compared with a previous poll, which was carried out in 2005.

The poll showed that the proportion of charities with annual incomes of more than £10m that considered digital TV a useful medium had fallen to 23 per cent - a fall of nine percentage points from the previous survey.

Joe Saxton, co-founder of nfpSynergy, attributed the fall to the increased popularity of online videos that could be shared through websites such as YouTube.

"It's difficult for charities to know where to start with digital TV because there are more than 500 channels," he said.

"But cheap advertising on smaller, specialist channels could be an effective way of targeting a niche audience."

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