Friday, July 08, 2011

Measuring And Paying For Video Advertising Success. Is It Possible?

Everyone has their theories about the success of digital advertising. The quote I saw today was that you are more likely to survive a plane crash than click on a banner ad.

Which doesn’t bode well, does it?

The idea of Cost Per View (CPV) was re-explored in an interesting article by Bob Dees the other day. Mr. Dees is the SVP of strategy for SpotXchange. With CPV, according to Mr. Dees, an advertiser only pays if a consumer watches 100% of the commercial, and pays on a per impression basis.

Interesting way to look at CPV. The question is, who gets paid if the consumer watches 100% of the commercial? In other words, who’s accountable for creating viewer engagement?

It can’t be the publisher. They’re not accountable for engagement in the commercial. They’re only accountable for exposure to the commercial.

As Mr. Dees states, “…because consumers have a choice, the responsibility of creating compelling content that captures consumer's attention and time falls back onto the agency. Compelling ad content in turn leads to higher brand awareness and trust in the brand.”

Couldn't agree more.

The responsibility for engagement is the creative agency’s. And, therefore, they should be paid accordingly. The longer viewers are engaged, the more the creative agency makes. The less time the viewer spends with the commercial, the less the creative agency makes. This is a method of payment called View Duration Compensation.

In the article, Mr. Dees states that YouTube has predicted that 50% of video ads will include CPV by 2015.

If that is indeed true, than YouTube needs to realize that CPV isn’t solely a media issue. It’s also a creative issue.

YouTube is a distributor of advertising. Not a creator of advertising. That said, they have the data that says how long people watch advertising for. While not directly responsible for engagement themselves, YouTube has the data that will allow advertisers to hold those who are responsible - creative agencies - accountable.

What is this data worth to an advertiser? Quite a bit, actually.

YouTube, as any advertising distributor should understand, makes their money by selling data, not impressions.

After all, when you come right down to it, what is an impression really?


What is information that says how long a viewer was engaged in a commercial?


Right now, this second piece of data - view duration - is given away for nothing to those who buy the media for their agencies.

If publishers want to make money from CPV in the future, they'll need to understand that data is best sold ala carte.

And not as part of a prix fixe menu.

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