Wednesday, March 02, 2011

User Initiated vs. Advertiser Initiated Advertising

Yesterday, TubeMogul announced that it has proposed (along with Google) a new metric to the IAB called Cost Per View (CPV).

It would offer advertisers a way to pay for commercials that viewers choose to watch. All other commercials that viewers are forced to watch, or are auto-initiated, would be deemed impressions and still sold on a CPM basis.

I like the idea.

It seems to make sense that a commercial someone has chosen to watch will be more effective than a commercial that someone is forced to watch. Viewer intention, after all, can be seen as a proxy for interest.

At least, initially.

But the question is, how long did that interest remain? For the entire commercial? Or, only ten seconds?

The reason I ask is that it also makes sense that the longer a viewer is engaged in a commercial, the more effective that commercial will be on that viewer.

TubeMogul measures length of view. As does TiVo. As does Visible Measures. As does TRA.

This data is as important to an advertiser as is the measurement of a viewer’s initial intent. The reason is that it allows advertisers to pay their creative agencies based on view duration.

If the viewer has expressed interest in a commercial or brand and has clicked “Play,” then it is the agency’s job to maintain that viewer’s interest throughout the length of the spot.

The longer the agency engages the viewer, the more valuable the commercial is for the advertiser. So, the more they should be willing to pay their agency for creating it.

Obviously, the number that click to play a commercial will be much smaller than the number of impressions that advertisers are used to buying.

So, the cost per view will be high. This will scare some advertisers off.

But if publishers or data aggregators bunched the viewer intent data with the view duration data and sold it as a package, it might become more palatable for advertisers.

After all, not only will it allow them to hold media accountable, but their creative agency as well.

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