For publishers, video on the Web has become key to their revenue strategies. But these companies are taking a page from TV's more traditional playbook, relying on metrics that worked for networks but don't necessarily tell the story of online video.
While young, video analytics attempt to break out of the old paradigm, giving a more comprehensive view of engagement, performance, among other metrics. Choosing an online-video solution alone often requires a lengthy evaluation process. But even after media companies decide on one, they're often daunted by where to start.
Publishers can see the performance of their individual videos with video analytics and leverage it to generate more revenue. The devil is in the details though. By digging deeper for more granular information, newspapers, magazines and blogs gain a level of understanding that can help shape their strategies to bring in more ad and subscriber dollars. We present five solid metrics for media companies to develop their revenue strategies.
1. Performance and engagement
Includes: size of audience, number of plays per person, time-of-day tracking, duration of videos watched
Performance and engagement metrics are the natural place to start. In addition to seeing raw audience numbers, media companies gain insight into how viewers are watching. A couple key rates to keep in mind: conversion and play-through rate. Both tell how engaged audiences are. The conversion rate is the ratio of video plays to video displays while the play-through rate shows the precise moment when viewers stopped watching. In addition, knowing when people are watching videos help editors set the best publishing schedule to maximize number of viewers.
2. Devices and applications
Includes: device type (desktops, tablets, smartphones, set-top boxes), apps used to view video
Since mobile video ads are the fastest growing ad type in the U.S., this is a sphere media companies have to pay increasing attention to. Learning about what devices audiences are using to watch help maximize viewership across all screens. Subsequently, companies can use this information to build robust mobile apps to boost consumption.
3. Demographics and type of user
Includes: subscribers, non-subscribers, breakdown of different types of subscribers, age, gender, preferences, location
Who are these viewers, exactly? Understanding them — age, gender, viewing preferences — lets media companies cater videos to their audiences, increasingly the likelihood videos will be shared. Comprehensive video analytics will let you see much more than just the number of adult viewers aged 18 to 34, a common demographic group for traditional TV metrics. If a magazine’s target audience is the 16-to-25 crowd, it can hone in specifically at that group’s viewing habits. It’s also useful to look at the breakdown of subscribers vs. non-subscribers, and of the latter, the breakdown of premium vs. basic memberships. This data is particularly of use for those striving to adopt hybrid-monetization models, those mixing subscription with ad revenue. Video-technology companies should be able to test various scenarios, such as using paywalls or higher ad loads, to help maximize revenue.
Includes: country, state, city, Designated Marketing Areas
Where is your audience? With analytics, companies can find out exactly where people are watching, down to the city or Designated Marketing Area, putting together a clear picture of the audience profile. Designated Marketing Areas is a term advertisers use to identify locations where the population can receive the same TV, radio, newspaper, Internet and other media. Such data helps publishers demonstrate the reach and impact of its content to advertisers, which can lead to higher ad rates. Geographic information can also help publishers tap into new markets or develop regionally relevant content. If a blog notices a growing audience in South Korea, for instance, it can produce more video content catering to the people there to target and engage this demographic. Or if said blog were contemplating an Asian expansion, its analytics would show Korea to be a promising country to enter.
Includes: size of player, player placement (above or below the fold)
Many factors can lead to videos being clicked or ignored: player size and placement, to name a few. By testing different scenarios, media companies can use the data to determine how videos are presented. Results can be surprising. While above-the-fold placement will increase viewership, it does so at the expense of valuable real estate for ads. And for some Ooyala customers, when the video player is situated below the fold on their websites, they see better conversions and viewer engagement.
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