Helping Ads to Measure Up

Oct 5, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Online video measurement firms Visible Measures and TubeMogul have been building reputations in recent weeks for quickly crunching data on popular viral videos and getting play in the media. Both companies say there’s money to be made only when they can supply advertisers with those same measurement tools.
The two firms have been building out their capabilities to measure how well viewers engage with viral advertising, in much the same way they can measure the public’s online fascination with Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her doppelganger, Tina Fey.
Visible Measures, which last week inked a deal with MTV Networks to measure consumer engagement with the Viacom unit’s online-video programming, is working with ad agencies such as Digitas and Hill Holiday and marketers including SoBe Beverages to measure Internet campaigns. TubeMogul plans to introduce new tools later this year to track engagement in the videos it distributes for producers such as Next New Networks and For Your Imagination.
Established players like YouTube also offer features that let video distributors measure dropoff rates and pinpoint when people stop watching videos.
In the past few months, Visible Measures has started tracking the performance of viral ads across the Web. That data can help an advertiser understand the effectiveness and reach of a campaign, said Matt Cutler, VP of marketing and analytics at the company.
Visible Measures’ technology tracks more than 100 million unique videos across the Web from more than 200 video-sharing sites. The number of videos Visible Measures follows grows by 1 million each week, Mr. Cutler said.
That scope has allowed the company to produce reports in the past month on the viral reach of the political conventions or of Olympic athletes, and those reports have been widely cited in blogs. But that data, while sexy and fascinating to the public, is something of a loss leader.
“The business is helping brand advertisers understand where videos are today and helping them measure campaigns moving forward,” Mr. Cutler said.
As an example, Visible Measures worked with social-media agency Mekanism to help distribute and promote a video the company had created for SoBe Lifewater.
Mekanism used the Visible Measures tools to track videos across more than 100 Web sites as well as mash-ups and repostings of those videos, said Jason Harris, president of Mekanism.
“This info has been valuable to show our clients the success and virality of our campaigns, particularly the level of user engagement in the form of derivative videos,” Mr. Harris said. “Visible Measures got us credit for views that would have otherwise gone untracked and unaccounted for.”
Expanded Offerings
TubeMogul, which provides distribution services for Web videos, plans to expand its offerings this year to measure engagement—including how long consumers watch a video, when they tune out and when they fast-forward, company CEO Brett Wilson said.
Those services likely will compete with Visible Measures, but Mr. Wilson said TubeMogul will focus on offering the additional metrics to existing customers.
“We want to give them tools to better understand their audience and which content is performing better than others,” he said.


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