1. What is are the biggest challenges of measuring Internet video?
- Lack of technical standards
- o Variety of different technologies being used by publishers - Flash, Windows Media, Quicktime
- § Everyone's made their own Flash Video Player
- Lack of Video Ad standards
- o Lack of ad standards - IAB has standards for display, but nothing in place for Video
- o There are no standards to systematically track ads, and distinguish them from content streams
- Emerging delivery and business models
- o Companies like Brightcove (video syndication networks) add an additional layer into the value chain - in addition to the publishers and destination site - that adds to the complexity of measuring this market.
- o Additional technical implementations such as Peer to Peer, caching, and DRM make this market infinitely more complex than measuring web pages.
- Identification of specific content and specific ads
- o Some form of standardized coding / tagging system that helps in the identification of specific content and ads across sites would be a huge step forward. But, is it realistic to expect that this will happen?
- The above notwithstanding, I do want to stress that comScore is already providing a measurement of the audience for streaming video today
2. The only thing I've seen actively measured currently is the number of times a video is accessed or downloaded. Do you think this is a valuable metric, especially for advertisers?
- Yes, but # of Streams and # of Streamers are also valuable metrics that are supplied by comScore today because they provide a good proxy in video to Page Views and Unique Visitors in traditional web content. Additionally, we use the two second rule to validate that users are engaged (i.e., we don't count the stream if duration is less than 2 seconds).
- Time/Duration will come of increased importance in the measurement of video vs. traditional web content, due to the linear relationship between time and the opportunity for ad exposures. In other words, in online video, ad inventory is as much a function of time as it is of # of streams. For example, a two-minute clip on You Tube may have one ad exposure, but a 45-minute episode of Lost may present 6 ad opportunities.
3. Are we in for another round of "hits vs. page views" when it comes to measuring Internet video?
- No real equivalent in Video, as the definition of a Stream is perhaps more concrete than a Page View (i.e., there had been long period of time without a formal definition of a Page View).
- The debate will more likely be between streams and duration, as the market debates what is the more relevant way to measure ad delivery and inventory.
4. What do you think is the most valuable metric when it comes to internet video? What year (if ever) do you think we'll be able to start measuring it?
- A combination of time, streams and streamers is the most appropriate way to measure the market today, but as measurement gets more advanced, both publishers and advertisers will want to see more metrics around how much of the stream was viewed, for both ads and content (e.g., 25%, 50%, 75%, 100% viewed after started).
- Fundamentally, the most important metrics are the reach and frequency of ad exposure and the response to that exposure - measured across time and channels (i.e. offline and online response)
5. Will things ultimately evolve to the point where actual viewership can be tracked via software and not require panels?
- I can't see this happening. The viewer is fundamentally in control and the delivering site can't possibly know the characteristics of who is on the computer without insisting on some kind of log-in cookie and that would generate huge negative consumer feedback and resistance.
- Panels provide a complete and consistent view of the marketplace
- o All sites measured using a consistent method
- o Visibility into audience demographics
- o No issues with over-counting unique viewers because of cookie deletion, multiple machine/browser usage
- o Measurement of consumer response to ad exposure and the ROI from advertising spending - both of which will be demanded by advertisers
6. Simultaneous viewers seems to be what advertisers really get excited about when it comes to traditional television. Does simultaneous viewing play a role when measuring Internet video?
- Today, online video is fundamentally an on-demand personal experience and simultaneous viewer metrics don't apply. However, they could become important in the future if online-delivered content becomes something that is viewed on a device -- beyond a personal computer -- that makes it easy and convenient for simultaneous viewing by multiple users.
7. Is "number of times replayed" a valuable metric? Some short-form Internet videos have much higher replay than say, a 42 minute episode of LOST. I know I have watched the "Will it Blend?" short for the iPhone at least 5 times.
- Measurement of multiple exposures to an ad is an important metric in the planning and analysis of TV advertising campaigns, and while our experience with the online video market is that this has not become an important metric as yet, that is likely to change as advertising in online video increases.
8. While many of the short videos have no advertising (or are themselves some type of advertising) regular television programming that's available for streaming over the Internet (is starting to incorporate advertising/sponsorships. (ABC for example has a few - but only a few, 30 second breaks during its streams). How important is it to measure viewership of these spots?
- For long form, where pre-roll and mid-roll advertising might make the most sense, it is related to the discussion above about the importance of streamers, streams and time - this may be only one stream from a technical perspective, but a long form show represents multiple ad exposure opportunities.
- Additionally, this form of content (professionally-produced content by well-known publishers) is what's most attractive for leading brands - they are reluctant to advertise on much of the UGC because of fear of being associated with what could be questionable content.
9. If I download an episode of LOST from iTunes and then watch 15 minutes of it via iTunes or Apple TV, when I sync my iPhone and choose that episode, it picks up wherever I left off (the reverse is true as well). All the information is "tracked" (at least via iTunes/iPod/iPhone). How important is this sort of information when it comes to measurement?
- As it relates to advertising, advertisers should want to know how far through their ads the consumer got before closing, and if they engaged with it. That said, it's rather interesting to note that ratings of TV commercials weren't available until this year! Also interesting to ask whether this was because the TV networks didn't want them, advertisers didn't ask for them or if Nielsen was unwilling or unable to provide them!