An impression is an advertiser-initiated view. It is intrusive and interrupts the viewing enjoyment of the user.
A viewer-initiated view, on the other hand, is when a viewer chooses to watch a commercial by opting-in to it.
According to Brian Shin, the founder and CEO of Visible Measures, this happened nearly 800 million times in Q1 of this year alone.
One of the alternatives to buying impressions is cost-per-click. Presumably this is better than impressions because the advertiser only pays when something happens.
But what if the viewer clicked on the commercial to watch it but left after viewing only a few seconds of the commercial? Again, according to Mr. Shin, 19% of viewers abandon a video clip in its first ten seconds.
If the advertiser has run a 60-second ad, getting only ten seconds viewed is not a good return on investment.
If advertisers want to accurately measure the effectiveness of their advertising, they really need two measures – how many started to watch by clicking in and how long they watch for.
It’s these two numbers that add up to the new formula – how many + how long = how well the commercials are working.
How many is the responsibility of the media. How long is the responsibility of the creative.
Both can be measured.
Which means both can be monetized.
But, first things first.
And the first thing is to start measuring the intent of viewer rather than the intent of the advertiser.
In other words, buying intentions versus buying impressions.