To address this shortcoming, TubeMogul proposed and Google endorsed
a new metric -- cost per view (CPV) -- to the IAB Digital Video
Committee for review. CPV pricing would apply to all video ads that
are user-initiated, distinguishing ads that viewers choose to watch
from those that simply load by default within a video player or on
a page, which would continue to be priced in "impressions." For
example, a "view" would be counted for video ads watched through
pre-roll ad selectors, completed pre-rolls that offered the viewer
an option to "skip," or in-banner video ads that users click to
watch. An "impression" would be logged for all other video ads.
Why define it this way? Viewer intention to watch an ad is
widely seen as a proxy for whether a brand message is being
delivered and consumed. In the next year, Kantar Media will release
joint research with us analyzing specific benefits in detail.
Early numbers from YouTube's TrueView
in-stream ads -- which let viewers choose whether to watch an ad
and only charge an advertiser if a viewer completes the ad -- are
promising, with 20%-70% choosing to watch an ad. Still more
research by Vivaki on Hulu's pre-roll ad
selector also demonstrates the value in measuring user-initiated
Formalizing CPV at the ad server level would also bring clarity
to advertisers that are currently buying both user-initiated and
auto-initiated video with no ability to distinguish between the two
since impression tags are used for both. More broadly, the proposal
would likely broaden interest in video for advertisers of all types
and sizes since marketers know more about what they are buying.
This proposal does not argue that all placements are created
equal, or that viewer-initiated views are inherently more valuable.
No one would argue that a pre-roll that automatically plays on a
premium publisher site (i.e. Discovery Channel) without viewer
choice is less valuable than a viewer-initiated view in low-end
inventory. Nor does the proposal argue that simplified metrics,
like a gross ratings point, should not exist for online video to
provide cross-comparisons to metrics widely used for TV. What the
framework provides is an additional level of detail on viewer
engagement that never previously existed.
"The demand side of the market is looking for quality measures
of engagement, which this proposal helps codify," said Bill
Lederer, CEO of Kantar Video. "This just may be the next generation
of work previously done by 'The Pool.' We are looking forward to
conducting market studies on it."
"If advertisers knew that they were buying viewers that were
actually paying attention, I believe you would see budgets
increase," Paul Kontonis, VP-brand content at Digitas. "Standardized 'cost per
view' metrics and pricing get us much closer to that goal."
Most video advertising on the Web today is made by brands whose
goal is simple: convey a message to captive audience. While "views"
should not be viewed in a vacuum and are not a perfect
metric, they provide additional detail to measure and price
paid media on that basis. This additional level of detail would
make it easier for brands of all sizes to adopt video advertising
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
is CEO of TubeMogul, a video analytics and advertising company.
Baljeet Singh is a senior product manager at YouTube.