I am a proponent of choice. Give me a choice of something or another and I'm a happy camper. Give me a choice in which ad to watch and when? Well, I might actually tolerate sitting through the ads and not get up and run to the kitchen or toilet. Well that's exactly what Visible Measures is betting on with their new video ad network, Visible Media. The network is based on advertisers purchasing user interactions on social networks.
Essentially, it's an ad network where the advertisers are bidding on user-initiated views. That's a pretty interesting way to go. They're aiming at social networks first and foremost. Here's some of the copy from their site:
Advertising exists to influence choice. And for decades, it's been influencing that choice by forcing ads onto audiences. But now, with social video, there's a better way – audiences now choose to watch ads.
Advertising driven by choice performs better. When audiences choose which ads they watch, brand lift metrics increase by 300% – 450%. They're also more likely to share the ads they choose to watch with their friends and family, blast them across social media, and copy, mix, mash, and repost them across hundreds of video sites. This choice-driven, social activity creates Earned Media, endorsed brand reach – the highest impact views available in online video.
I'm still skeptical about this whole 'we will share video ads' thing. Sure, I recently shared the creepy cool Lick the Rainbow commercial that Jeremy had in one of his articles. But it was just so creepy... and yet so cool, I had to do it. Did anyone watch it on my Facebook friends list? Doubtful.
Now Viewable Media is sort of mashing my coverage area (video ad networks) with Jeremy's (viral videos) with this new viral reach metric that they're using.
The data that advertisers will have access to is pretty impressive. It's what powers the Variety Top 10 Film Trailers chart and the Ad Age Viral Video Chart. I can't really turn my nose up at that, now can I?
Then again, can anyone really track every viral video? I suppose that sooner or later they will cross with data gathering for many of the big research houses, but can any one of them truthfully say they capture every share, like, comment and embed? That's a tough call to make I think.
Essentially, it seems to me like Visible Media has just put a business plan around viral video marketing and turned it into and advertising network. Will it work? That remains to be seen, but I can definitely see some potential for it in the market space. It could also force some of the other large video ad networks to change course if they find a lot of ad money being siphoned off to this new choice.