ReelSEO's Grant Crowell interviews comScore's Video Metrix Product Manager, Tania Yuki. Tania shares some of the notable trends in the video measurement industry, why she believes that "2009 really is the time that the synergy of online video and commerce is going to happen," and what are the best metrics to evaluate on how effective one's video marketing and Video SEO truly is.
A pioneer in online video measurement
Acording to Tania, comScore's entry of their Video Metrix program made them first in the marketplace with measuring online video, including on a global scale. "We've definitely made a name for ourselves in pioneering the video measurement industry." She says.
Tania says the key difference between comScore from its competitors is the way that they track both ads and content in relation to video, which leads to better monetization of that video content. "The vision for Video Metrix is to really get a good perspective on not just what videos are being watched, but how video is also being monetized." She says. "That's kind of our unique angle we have, and in the tough market right now, that's going to be increasingly important – for people to be able to understand exactly how their competitors are going about and driving revenues from video. Better monetization is our key difference."
comScore's Video Metrix client list is very impressive. It includes major publishers such as Hulu, NBC, Broadband Enterprises, Comcast, ESPN, Myspace, Sony Pictures; ad agencies such as Carat Fusion, Digitas, Starcom Mediavest, OMD, Publicis; and search engines such as Microsoft and AOL.
Grant: Let's start with our main question – what do you think are the metrics that one should be paying attention to when it comes to evaluating whether or not Video SEO or Video Marketing is effective?
Tania: I think the key things when evaluating video are demographic information such as audience profile and composition, and then to look at audience behaviors such as number of videos viewed and time spent viewing. We are really trying to understand who exactly is watching online video as well as the quality of that experience and how engaged people are with video, so these are the main things to be looking at right now.
So what exactly is comScore Video Metrix?
comScore Video Metrix is one of the products in our Media Metrix program. The Video Metrix product allows advertising agencies and brands, publishers with video on their site, traditional media studies, etcetera, to basically gauge how online video (including their own online video) is performing, along with measuring specific audience groups on their own video experience. It's a great way to competitively benchmark, to understand your own growth, and for advertisers to really pick out who the top performers are in different content verticals.
Explain how you gather your data for these video measurement reports
We use a three-tiered approach to collect our information, which we call a "panel-centric hybrid approach." What that really means is, at the cornerstone of the product, we have the comScore panel – which has around 1 million people in the U.S. What it basically does is gets information from these people that is really important to advertisers. We understand exactly who is watching, and we know all of their online behaviors. We also bring in server-side data, which sends us beacons that sit at the actual video player level, and tell us exactly how many videos are being played, at specific sites. The third point is tagging, which gives us a lot more information about the clip, itself. This can be thing like: ad vs. content, what show was it, where was the clip played, etcetera. We link those 3 sets of data points, and that way we have a lot of information about the video clip itself, and the audience experiencing it.
So how do your audiences and customers benefit from this data?
For the audience, we can measure their basic demographics: their age, gender, household income, education – all of those sorts of things. Additionally, on a per-person basis, we know the number of videos that were watched for that month, the total Internet video viewing time, average viewing time per clip, and the total number of clips watched.
What are the types of services and reports you provide?
Video Metrix is a syndicated service, so a client with a subscription can log in 24/7, and pull reports either specifically about their own video network, or about the video industry at large. We also do larger customer reports and advertising effectiveness reports which can definitely incorporate video as well.
You also provide some free video stats in your monthly press releases. What would you say are some of the more notable trends with video shown in those releases?
I think the main thing that we see, which is surprising to me, is that the penetration of online video remains pretty high and consistent – about 70-80% of all Internet users are reached by online video. But obviously as the number of people who use the Internet continues to grow, so does the total number of video viewers continue to grow as well.
Another trend is towards longer-format content. People are not only watching more clips a month; they're spending a lot more time doing it. Proportionately, the time spent watching video is growing quicker than the number of clips" that are being watched.
I think overall, we're just seeing video viewers being more and more engaged, spending more time and longer sessions, and longer time per session, with [Internet] video. So from a penetration and engagement standpoint, its really an optimistic time to be considering a business in video.
What are some new developments for comScore's Video Metrix in 2009?
We have a very populated roadmap. The main push will probably be in the video advertising space. We already have an ad rotation report, which speaks to a reach and frequency type of model. For videos, that's definitely something that's on the horizon.
I think specifically, like tracking, advanced ad format, and just ensuring that what we're tracking is still cutting edge with what advertisers want to buy the inventory, and also how publishes want to package and sell their inventory. Whatever that means from a flexibility standpoint, that's definitely at the top of our list of priorities for commerce.
I think there's just been so much energy around online video for the last few years, but I really believe that 2009 really is the time that the synergy of online video and commerce is going to happen. And we think that good metrics, clear metrics, and reliable metrics are going to be a very instrumental thing towards making that happen.