Monday, May 2, 2011

Online Video by the Numbers: Analytics, Reporting, and Metrics

Without detailed information on who’s watching—not to mention where, when, for how long, and on what devices—it’s impossible to prove the business value of your video communications initiative. The ability to measure video traffic beyond "views"-including audience dropoff, what sites and search terms are referring viewers, and audience geography-offers content publishers deeper insight into both the viewing habits of their audience and the extent of their video's reach.  At the Online Video Platform Summit, this all-star panel that examines what is the important data you should be collecting and how to use that data to improve the effectiveness of your video and increase your ROI.

Paul Riismandel, session moderator, started the discussion by asking the panel, "What is the data that is most important for online video publishers? What drives ROI?"

Dan Piech of comScore, says that the most important metrics are the ones that differentiate you. What can you provide that is different from your competitors? You might have a different service, then prove it. What makes your viewers different from other viewers? Are they more engaged, in one thing more than another? That's where data helps show you those differentiation points.

According to Dan Berra of Unicast, engagement is primary metric they focus on in the advertising space. They are tracking how much are people interacting and spending time within that video environment to prove ROI to advertisers. AJ McGowen of Unicorn Media adds that the most important metrics are actionable, and helps you make good business decisions. It's not just about quality of service and did the video have a fast start of buffer, it's about the quality of the content and did people find it engaging – and for publishers it's about how to make the content better.

For Bismarck Lepe of Ooyala,  it really depends on the business case you're trying to solve to define how you measure success. Brett Wilson of TubeMogul says that in general, publishers that sell ads should care about the metrics that their advertisers care about, which is reach, audience and performance. Brand marketers aren't as interested in the real-time metrics as much as they are interested attitudinal metrics – what's the brand lift, what's the purchase intent, or recall? – and the industry could do a better job at creating standard metrics they understand.

The panel all agree that while the industry has similar measures for engagement and reach, it still needs to come together and agree on true key measures of success, even down to what is counted as a view. Data has to be meaningful for publishers to deliver the best possible viewing experience, and at the end of the day it's about a creating that personal experience with great content. It's the social nature of online video that makes it uniquely powerful.

Watch the video below for more of the discussion and to hear where we are going with video analytics, and how publishers can better track their metrics across the different screens.

Speaker bios:

Paul Riismandel, Director of Curriculum Support, School of Communication, Northwestern University (Moderator)
Paul Riismandel has been working in online educational media for fifteen years, specializing in audio and video production designed for streaming. Paul is active in the educational media community as an advocate for online video and encouraging greater collaboration between the education vertical and the larger industry. He writes about these issues in the Class Act column for Streaming Media magazine. Paul is also a radio enthusiast, serving as advisor to student-run WNUR-FM at Northwestern University, and blogging about the future of radio at He also blogs and podcasts about other media stuff at

Brett Wilson, Co-Founder, CEO, TubeMogul
Brett leads the strategic direction for TubeMogul. He spent the first three years of his career as a consultant for Accenture. Next, he founded and led, a profitable e-commerce company that obtained over $69 million in revenue and was successfully acquired. Brett is undefeated at Risk, is the reigning Foosball champion at TubeMogul and a lousy (but aspiring) windsurfer, sailor and investor. He is also married and has two beautiful children. Brett received his MBA from the UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business.

Bismarck C Lepe, Co-founder and President of Products, Ooyala
As an Ooyala co-founder and founding CEO, Bismarck Lepe raised $10 million in funding and signed many of the company's early media partnerships before passing the baton to Jay Fulcher in 2009. Currently, as President of Product Strategy, he is responsible for marketing and driving Ooyala's product development vision. Bismarck sits on the Ooyala Board of Directors. Before co-founding Ooyala, Bismarck worked at Google as a Senior Product Manager, developing and managing new products for the company's AdSense network. He launched more than 25 different Google AdSense products, including Click-to-Play video ads and Google's Intelligent Ad Server, which brought the company over $1 billion dollars in new annual revenue. Most notably, Bismarck managed the early growth of AdSense display and video advertising. Business Week named Bismarck one of its Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs of 2009. Bismarck has a B.A. in Economics and a minor in Computer Science from Stanford University.

AJ McGowan, CTO, Unicorn Media
AJ McGowan is responsible for engineering the cutting-edge architecture that will deliver high-quality audio and video via a highly intuitive interface. Prior to Unicorn Media, AJ spent five years at Limelight Networks where as director of solutions engineering, he assisted the company's marquee customers with implementing their content delivery networks, developing best practices, and capacity planning. With a remarkable combination of intelligence and drive, AJ started his first company building high-end custom computers while still in the 8th grade. By age 14, he was an IT manager, and in between high school classes completed a highly technical token ring/mainframe to Ethernet/NT-Unix network upgrade and answered pages from distressed employees.

Dan Berra, Vice President of Business Intelligence, Unicast
Dan Berra leads Unicast’s Business Intelligence division focused on providing robust research, reporting and in-depth analysis of all Unicast-generated advertising campaigns. Under his leadership, clients gain greater insight into campaign results and the effectiveness of rich media and web video against other forms of online advertising As a respected industry veteran, Berra brings more than 12 years of experience spanning financial and marketing analysis at Dell Corporation and T3 (The Think Tank). Most recently, Berra served as the Vice President of the Customer Insight Group at T3, where he built media and search analytics teams from the ground up and created data integration process and databases tying together ad server data, web analytics and client-side data into one interface. Previous to T3 Berra served as transactional marketing manager, at Dell Corp, where he headed the development of segment-level online metrics, created forecasting models and managed transactional marketing. His expertise is in  media and web analytics and measurement,  rich media and online video, next generation web, online media planning and buying, ROI, online advertising and Third Party ad serving.

Dan Piech, Senior Product Management Analyst, comScore Inc.
Dan is a Senior Product Management Analyst at comScore, Inc. and President at Piech Productions. Previously, he was anInteractive Strategy Intern at McKinney, Project Manager at HG Media, Inc and Advertising Intern at Success Communications Group. comScore is a marketing research company that provides marketing data and services to many of the Internet's largest businesses.

The Online Video Platform Summit is a two-day event designed to help organizations of all t>ypes, not just those for whom video is their core business. Held on November 2-3 in conjunction with
Streaming Media West in Los Angeles, the Online Video Platform Summit is designed for video publishers of all types and sizes, whether small businesses looking to publish content for the first time, independent entertainment content creators, large media organizations, or anywhere in between.