Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Googling View Duration Data

I was on the phone with the Google folks recently. I asked if they offered view duration data with their Google TV Ads product. They said they did.

I asked if they also offered view duration data with their overlay product on YouTube. The Googlette on the phone wasn’t certain. Her area of expertise was Google TV Ads, not YouTube.

My guess is that they do. Because the overlays on YouTube are sold on a cost-per-click basis, Google knows when people start watching. So it’s not that far-fetched to assume that they also know when they stop watching.

I asked the Google folks how they used their view duration data. They said they give it away to the “agency” as part of the media buy. I asked whether they were referring to the media agency or the creative agency? They said, “the agency that is in charge of the account.”

Okay. But in charge of media or in charge of creative? Both agencies are in charge of something, right?

They kept answering, to the agency in charge of the account. What they meant was the agency that bought the space on Google TV Ads. In other words, the media agency was receiving the data that would really be of even greater benefit to the creative agency.

I asked if they would share just the view duration data with the advertiser that was paying the media agency who was buying the space on Google TV Ads. They said, “no”. That information is only shared with the agency that is in charge of the account.

I asked if the advertiser could pay an additional fee to have just the view duration data supplied to them separately. “No,” was the answer. Google doesn’t work that way.

So, I asked if they would be willing to sell the view duration data to the creative agency that created the commercial for the advertiser that is paying their media agency to run the commercial on Google TV Ads.

No, they just provide the data to the agency that is in charge of the account.

I asked if they were aware that other data providers were willing to separate view duration data and sell it to the creative agency and/or advertiser as a stand-alone entity.

They said they weren’t aware of that.

I asked them if they offer the agency that is in charge of the account a way to monetize the view duration data. In other words, offering a way to add value to the data, rather than just offering data itself.

They said, “no.” They don’t know of any way to monetize view duration data. That would be left to the agency in charge of the account.

My thinking is the agency that the view duration data offers the most value to is the creative agency. Or, the agency in charge of the creative on the account. At present, because creative agencies don’t buy media, they can’t get the data.

What I don’t understand is why data providers can’t provide the data to any of an advertiser’s agencies, if they are willing to pay for it. After all, it is the advertiser’s data.

Isn't it?

When is Google going to realize that they’re not a media company. They’re a data provider. In the digital marketplace, it's not about selling media.

It's about selling data.

Or, at least, it should be.

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