How Much for That Video View? Q&A With Visible Measures

On Wednesday, Boston PubForum sponsor and digital video specialist Visible Measures announced it had hauled in an impressive $21.5 million in funding. We caught up with Paul Botto, GM of Analytics & SVP of Business Development, to hear how the company has pushed beyond its video analytics roots, the value of cost-pet-view advertising and the “price” of earned media.

How has Visible Measures evolved its value proposition to publishers since beginning in the analytics space?

At Visible Measures, we’ve leveraged our measurement credibility to build the cost-per-view (CPV) media opportunity for both advertisers and publishers.  Specifically for the latter, we’ve built our monetization platform, powered by our analytics (the “brain”) which provides plug-in tools (the “actions”) that help publishers put the most relevant video in front of their viewers.

The great thing about this technology is that it increases video relevancy and viewership for both publishers’ own content as well as CPV ads provided by Visible Measures. In either case, the publisher wins by increasing views of their own video (more pre-roll impressions) and our ads (direct CPV monetization).

What do you see as the chief advantage of cost per view inventory over pre-roll? Or is it not a competition? Is an advertiser seeking something different from CPV inventory vs. good ol’ pre-roll?

Cost–per-view inventory and pre-roll are very complementary for both advertisers and publishers. Traditional pre-roll remains a fantastic way to build awareness with broad reach in a more measurable way than TV and still generates a great deal of revenue for publishers. CPV, or “choice-based” inventory, allows advertisers to reinforce awareness while also better reaching consumers who are truly considering their products or services—i.e., the “hand raisers” who choose to watch their ads.  

For publishers, CPV inventory provides a new way to monetize online video, even when their pre-roll is sold out.  With time-shifting available most anywhere for consumers, even traditional TV with DVRs, advertisers increasingly need to build content consumers actually want to watch and publishers need to know how to deliver.  We are the experts on maximizing those efforts for creatives, advertisers, and publishers. 

Can you engineer a viral video? And if yes, what’s the definition of a viral video in that case, because it doesn’t seem to be the same as, say, “Charlie Bit My Finger”?

Visible Measures has tracked over 10,000 video ad campaigns over the past few years, and this broad visibility into video performance has enabled us to identify patterns and even recommend specific things to help make a video more likely to go viral. That said, we’re more proud of our track record helping advertisers, who wouldn’t traditionally be thought of as capable of producing such videos, generate enormous value through paid and earned media.  It’s this type of work that makes the CPV/”choice-based” media opportunity more mainstream for advertisers AND publishers.

Are advertisers putting too little or too great a value on earned media? How would you like to see that change?

While everyone hopes for the breakout viral hit, we’ve seen that a majority of the advertisers we work with realize that earned media isn’t free – it requires work, planning, and media dollars to get the most out of any content.  We would love to see (and are enabling) greater transparency between advertisers and publishers so that both better understand, and get credit for, the earned media that is generated from a campaign.  

How does Visible Measures For Publishers differentiate itself from other video analytics solutions? What metrics do you consider undervalued by both pubs and advertisers?

Visible Measures for Publishers (VM/P) is our robust analytics solution and the backbone of the company.  It’s differentiation is derived both from its market-leading features (e.g., real-time video analytics across all platforms) and how it fits into the overall Visible Measures value prop to publishers as the “brain” that helps power how we help publishers better monetize their video investment through the new CPV revenue stream.

Through VM/P, Visible Measures pioneered looking at the engagement and consumption of videos and we still push this as critical metric that helps characterize the quality of interaction with video by viewers.  In fact, our proprietary True Reach metric, the amalgam of paid, owned, and earned views, was recently awarded MRC-Accreditation along with a host of other metrics delivered by VM/P.  

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