Sunday, December 11, 2011

Social Video Versus Anti-Social Video

No doubt you've noticed how social video is slowly being redefined.

Social video used to mean video that ran on social networks. Social referred to place, not how the video was accessed.

Now, social video is increasingly being referred to as video that allows the viewer to opt-in to watch, rather than being forced to watch.

Hence, social video is now being defined as when the viewer is in control of the viewing experience. Which means that anti-social video is when the advertiser remains in control of the viewing experience – no fast-forwarding, no opting-out, no avoidance (if you want to watch the content that follows).

Now, the interesting thing to me isn’t so much the redefinition that’s slowly occurring as it is the statistics that are now coming forward.

For example, The Jun Group recently released some compelling stats:

Social video opt-ins are more effective in driving post-view engagements than interruptive video units.
Social video ad units deliver completion rates significantly higher than pre-roll.


And, according to YuMe Video Advertising Metrics, users who opt-in to watch social videos are more than three times as likely to interact with a band after the view, compared to pre-roll.

Makes social video sound much more effective than anti-social video, doesn’t it?

The downside to social video? Fewer people actually opt-in to watch social video than the number that are exposed to anti-social video.

After all, you’re not counting impressions with social video. What you’re counting are interactions (interest?).

The numbers of actual interactions are low. And, low numbers scare advertisers off.

The main reason, at least, in my opinion?

Social video views allows advertisers to know how ineffective their advertising actually is. It’s easy to say you’re buying 5 million impressions. It sounds effective.

To say you had 15,000 people click in to watch the commercial sounds puny in comparison.

And that’s what we have to get over in this industry.

I’d take 15,000 quantified, engaged viewers over 5 million impressions any day.

To know that three-quarters of those 15,000 viewers actually interacted with my brand afterwards is very valuable knowledge.

Much more valuable than knowing that 5 million were exposed to it.

Impressions have always allowed advertisers to live in a fantasy world of impressions = effectiveness.

Interestingly enough, now that we can get actual numbers that relate to effectiveness, guess what?

Advertisers still prefer to be anti-social.

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