Tag Archives: mike tv

Online video advertising research missing the point?

http://www.reelseo.com/tubemogul-pre-roll-video-ads/

TubeMogul Finds That Most Viewers Never See Pre-Roll Video Ads

The above headline from Reel SEO, and the research it introduces from Tube Mogul, is of almost no value to anybody as far as I can see. It seems to be judging a sites video performance based on the homepage alone, and as I will explain below this is rarely the page where most of the video views occur.

I spent three years working with online video on one of the biggest UK newspaper websites, and we realised fairly soon after launching video that placing it on the homepage is not the answer to generating significant video views. As a result, video rarely featured on the homepage thereafter, and so the percentage of viewers watching video on that one page will of course be low. Apart from that, the percentage is of little interest to any advertiser because they would be buying video advertising on a cost per thousand video plays basis, not on the number of unique users that visited any given page.

The homepage is often a more fleeting stepping-stone to multiple article pages. It contains the top news of the day in brief, with links to the in-depth stories elsewhere. So the user lands on the homepage, decides which stories they wish to read, and then clicks to an article page containing that story. From experience, I know that video will get many more plays if it is relevant, and embedded into an article than it ever will on the homepage. It is also worth noting that a fairly small percentage of the newspaper sites overall traffic comes to the site via the homepage, and that Google often takes users directly to the article the user is interested in.

The newspaper site I worked on achieved many millions of video views with this ‘article page’ strategy, and very few of them relied on a home page position, so I would suggest that knowing the percentage of homepage visitors that watched video is of little or no use to advertisers and their agents.

The Take Away on Reel SEO reads:

“… So you blow loads of cash on video creative and trying to get your pre-roll ads into the pre-roll mix on the site that has the full-length episodes whether it be a broadcaster or whatever. You put all your money into that campaign and get a really low ROI and can’t figure out what happened. It’s simple. Not as many people saw those videos as you were hoping even though you pushed out perhaps millions of impressions.”

The line that reads ‘…not as many people saw those videos as you were hoping’ demonstrates to me that the author doesn’t understand how pre-roll advertising is traded.

A buyer will buy a number of video plays, and pay a cost per thousand plays to achieve that goal. They will then often third-party track their campaign to ensure that the booked number of impressions is delivered.

No buyer that I have encountered in the many years I have been working in online video advertising has ever paid based on the number of unique users on the site/ homepage, and so this statement appears to be wholly incorrect.

I’d love to hear your views, using the comments on this blog!

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What is stopping brands from producing shorter pre-roll lengths?

For me the conversation about pre-roll lengths started in September 2007, when I joined Telegraph Media Group to launch Telegraph TV. Previously I had worked at a TV production company, and it was the norm for advertisers to run 30’ creative on the giant Blink TV screens that we managed at music gigs and festivals across the world.

In the digital space though, shorter lengths are important. As well as working with video as a medium I also shoot and edit it, and while I am no Spielberg I am capable enough to know that making a 10 second version of a 30 second advert is not rocket science.

I also know that the view through rate of 10 second adverts compares very favourably when compared with 30 second creative, and I know that video advertising investment is growing significantly, so why are so many brands relying on their 30 second TV spot to do a job online?

The mind-set of a consumer online is very different from that of somebody watching TV or Cinema. The lean-forward, active, fact-finding state of mind displayed in somebody online can be a very powerful proposition for brands, but I think in order to maximise that opportunity advertising has to be tailored to the environment.

I also believe that there is an unscientific, yet direct correlation between the size of the screen and the acceptable length of video advertising. Sat in a dark cinema, with no distractions and no chance of you getting up to make the tea or to put the washing on (my wife would tell you there is no chance of me doing this at home either) then a 90 second advert is likely to be acceptable. As the screen gets smaller the attention span decreases with it as the possible distractions increase. So in order to still engage these people, the creative length has to reduce as well. Maybe to a 30 on TV for example. Online you are one twitch of your finger away from leaving an advert if it is deemed too long, so once again the length of the pre-roll should reduce. The IAB Video Council recommendation is 15 seconds for online video pre-roll advertising; I would go one step further and recommend a 10 second creative length online. On mobile I think it should be shorter still, but that is another conversation.

If the creative agency are briefed at the very start that the creative needs to be adaptable to online, then there should be no reason why a shortened version of the TV/ Cinema advert could not be planned and created. At the moment, too many consumers are watching a smaller proportion of a longer message, and surely that is worse than them watching all of a shorter message?

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Adobe launch Flash 10.1 for mobile

On pretty much all operating systems apart from, you guessed it,  Apple OS4.

http://url4.eu/4r53x

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Dwell time is vital to marketers looking to build a brand online

I have long been an advocate of dwell time.

If you are advertising anywhere, you need the reader, viewer, listener to be engaged in the content for long enough as to give your advertising message a chance to engage. On the internet however, there are billions of page impressions that last mere seconds, and they are often cheap as chips and still over-priced in my opinion. If the user clicked away from the page before your advertising had even loaded properly then the page impressions was worth nothing. Simple as that in my eyes.

UKOM, the new research tool from Nielsen, released its first set of data for January 2010 earlier this month and I am hopeful that agencies and clients will start to use this data day-to-day. Not only does it allow planners to measure reach and frequency for digital against other media, it enables them to measure dwell time. Not being able to measure the reach and frequency of digital has been a huge barrier to clients investing more money in digital, despite their customers spending more time online, and I hope that UKOM will prove a success at unblocking that pipeline.

If UKOM does encourage clients to spend more brand money online, then video advertising is perfectly placed to capitalise because the dwell time on video pages is usually higher than on pages with no video. With video advertising you can combine the powerful persuasive forces of sight, sound and motion creative with the right audience, and while they are spending some time in one place.

I have worked on countless campaigns where a multiple ad unit roadblock of video pages has delivered a significantly higher click-through rate that the advertising that was running on other parts of the site. Audience + no clutter + dwell time = engagement.

It will also encourage publishers to make richer, more engaging content rather than chasing page impressions because that will have a direct bearing on the bottom line. That can only be good news for readers and brands alike.

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