Obscurity in online video measurement holding back new marketers

Source: exchange4media| View Online Article

Content consumption through images and videos has increased significantly in the last few years. According to statistics revealed by comScore’s Video Metrix Datavideo, consumption has doubled in the last two years increasing to 3.7 billion videos per month.The data also suggests a 69 per cent surge in unique viewers in 2013 as compared to 2011.

With the surge in online video consumption, the space has evolved from being a mere video search to a potential online television ecosystem. While the space is dominated by brand communications, it is still not treated as a potent ad medium that the audience refers to when not being able to tune into terrestrial broadcast due to the constant debate on the measurement system across the space.

Current measurement scenario
Online videos are currently measured with traditional digital tools. Social media currencies such as likes, shares and views are very much applicable to online video measurement. Traditional digital measurement formulae, including impressions, clicks, views, duration of advertisement seen and engagement are also applied by marketers.

“In online video space, everything is measureable. We track performance on real time basis. Marketers also refer to individual metrics and there are other outsourced audits such as comScore,” explained Piyush Chhaperwal, National Sales Head – Online, Vdopia, India.

Anuj Kumar, Co-founder & Managing Director, Ripple feels that the current measurement system is very strong as it is based on definite results. “The current metrics for measuring online video are standardised with other digital media formats. These are thus far more detailed and robust vis-à-vis the sample-based approach of TV measurement,” added Kumar.

Having said that, the need for an extension in the current measurement metrics has been dominating the industry for some time now. While the existing method helps in tracking campaign performance, an extension in the metrics will make the results more standard and thus easy to compare.

GRP Approach: Comparing apples or peaches?
While traditional digital metrics help in tracking a campaign’s performance, marketers and media planners look for results that help them with comparative analysis of the results generated.

A number of big names, including GroupM, OMD, Kellogg’s, Coke and HUL use the WEB GRP tool to measure the effectiveness of online video ads.

Sharad Dhall, President, Yatra Online explains that the GRP model will help marketers and media planners compare the results of the digital campaign to the television campaign activated for the same purpose. “GRP rating will make it easy for the marketers to take a call as most of them use GRP to measure television,” added Dhall. “Marketers can compare cost per thousand (CPT) online to CPT on broadcast to decide which campaign worked more.”

While GRP offers broader measurement views, it also adds complications due to complexity of data tools of different measurement models making comparison difficult. “The comparisons won’t be truly like to like as the audience base for say TAM and ComScore would be different and the planning will happen using different data sources and tools, thus making it difficult to measure incremental impact, etc.,” explained Kumar.

Need of the hour
With the diversity in the various measurement models, a number of marketers avoid exploring and experimenting on the medium. Thus, creating a measurement metrics that is fair to the medium and at the same time provides a broader view is required.

“We need a measurement metrics that is quantified and integrates number of views and likes on a video,” said Manu Jain, Co-founder and MD, Jabong.

Jain explains that GRP is basically a function of reach and frequency. On television, how many people see an advertisement and how many times they see it are the important factors. However, on online there is a quantifiable measure which has an option to like, thus creating importance for the integration of views and likes for measuring online video ads.

To make the existing measurement metrics more effective, marketers need to look at the available data resources explained Kumar. “From the currently available data sources, comparison of potential reach of online video ad networks and TV channels is a usable metric for advertisers should look at. However, for other measurements like cost per reach, etc., due value/ weights should be applied to online video given that you are considering actual data (vs. sample) and that the ads are interactive.”

The recent tiff between TAM and broadcasters was an alarm on how obscurity in measurement can lead to utter chaos. Also, the TAM ratings row bought forward the fact that while the digital video space may not be a replacement to television, it will be an active support in case of any glitch in the latter. (Can television’s loss be digital’s gain?)

To sustain and increase the growth in online video advertisement, a standard and robust form of measurement has to be created, mainly to attract marketers who have not ventured into the space.