Finally, Someone Is Building A Better Way To Measure Web Video

Brain sensor

Web video is plenty popular, but because of the fragmented, complex nature of the industry, there’s always been a need for a better way to track and measure what people are actually watching.

After all, measurement is supposed to be one of the ADVANTAGES of the web over TV or print. But so far, it’s been inconsistent at best.

So ad giant WPP is the latest to make the ambitious attempt to create a single, unified tracking and measurement service for web video, as part of its Kantar research division. (You may be more familiar with its old name, TNS.)

Kantar Video, a new business unit, just launched under the direction of Bill Lederer, who has previously worked for Kantar, TNS, and Getty Images. Its first product, “Kantar Videolytics,” is rolling out in private beta, and Lederer expects to launch a public beta this fall. It will be a subscription service that integrates into existing web video players, formats, etc.

The main idea is that this will be a much more sophisticated way to measure WHAT people are doing with web video on computers and mobile devices — and WHO they are, based on all the demographic data and other research WPP already has.

The challenge, of course, will be getting all the myriad players in the web video industry — content creators, distributors, infrastructure providers, ad networks, agencies, mobile companies, telecom suppliers, etc. — to play along nice, agreeing to support a single standard and a single provider.

Assuming it’s good, Kantar Video can offer some utility to clients on a one-off basis, but it will be much more useful if everyone in the industry can agree to use it. And that’s the tricky part.

Kantar won’t be the first to try — TubeMogul is the competitor that comes to mind — but its size (and WPP’s huge ad buying machine) should help. 

There are plenty of holes to poke in a project like this, but if web video is ever going to start to gobble up a significant share of ad spend, something like this is truly needed. So this one is worth watching.

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