Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Time-Spent Gains Another Convert

It was announced on Monday that Matt Freeman has gone and changed the name of his company from GoFish to Betawave.

What’s interesting about the move is how Betawave will value media. Traditionally, media’s value has been based on the number of people it reaches. Betawave is built on the premise that the value of media lies in the amount of a viewer’s attention it garners.

Obviously, Mr. Freeman would not have done this if his network wasn’t one of the highest ranking (currently third among people 18 to 34) in regards to the amount of time that people spend on the sites that Betawave represents.

Betawave calls themselves an Attention-Based Media Company—"the world’s largest pure play digital media company as measured by minutes of consumers attention for youths (6 – 17) and Moms."

As the Betawave site says, “Without attention, the value of reach is a stretch.”

Now, carry that thinking over to video advertising. The cost of video advertising today is still primarily justified on the basis of reach. But as Betawave so correctly states, “Without attention, the value of reach is a stretch.”

Digital information, in the form of view-duration data, can now tell advertisers what a viewer’s attention rate was to their commercial.

Most advertisers will tell you that an engaged impression is more valuable than a non-engaged impression.

And yet, most advertisers still justify the cost of commercial creation on the number of people the spot will reach.

I understand why this was the case before view duration data became so prevalent.

But now that advertisers can know how long their spots actually involved the viewers for, how long will it be before this data is used to hold creative accountable for delivering what it was paid to deliver?

Time spent with the brand.

Here’s to Mr. Freeman. Welcome to the club.

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