If the web video industry wants to be taken more seriously, it needs to agree on some standards. For example, what is a “view”? Everyone defines this critical term differently.
For some, a “view” is recorded after a viewer watches just 3 seconds of video. Others are more conservative–taking the total number of bits transmitted for that show or segment, and dividing by size of the file to get the total shows delivered. Still others use the latter methodology, but apply a per cent filter: calling the stream a “view” when, say, 75% of a program’s bits are delivered.
In the end, of course, with ad supported media, none of these stats are truly what matters. What matters is ad delivery, and whether the viewer saw the message. When you combine an ad serving engine with streamed video, consumed via a web browser, ad delivery metrics are simple to uncover. When shows are downloaded and viewed offline, they’re a bit harder. How do you know if the downloaded show was actually watched?
With no industry-wide standards, sites inflate their “views” to ludicrous levels, and destroy the whole industry’s credibility as a result. As a media-relations consultant, I regularly talk to the press about how many times a particular video has been viewed, only to get an eye-roll in return. ComScore is a major factor here, as their tactics have contributed to confusion and a lack of credibility. But we are in a new world, and it’s time to come together as an industry and get our standards straight.
Brooke Hammerling is the founder of BrewPR, a media relations firm with offices in NY and LA and clients including Next New Networks, Ning, and NetSuite (N)
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.