STOP video vanity metrics. And start counting the numbers that really matter!

Play, View, and Time are three words that should be set as the standard for all video performance reporting.

Understanding the definition of these three words when working with video marketing can mean the difference between success or fiasco.

These three words are most often used to justify the cost of a video marketing campaign as well as the metrics used to post-evaluate performance.  In 2018, advertisers in America used 28 billion dollars on video marketing – a quarter of all ad spend.   With high expectations, a lack of critical knowledge and no standards in place for evaluating effect, the promise of Plays and Views were delivered without questioning the aspect of “Time.” This vanity of video marketing is similar to the early days of commercial broadcasting where advertisers believed the more “spots” they received on a tv station, the better. We know better today.

The combination of Play, View and Time is vital.  The more you understand these words, the better you can avoid a waste of marketing investments, unnecessary use of resources, loss of value and effect.

Vanity metrics are inflated at the expense of Quality

Consider the words Play and View and what the words mean to you. Now consider these definitions:

Most media who offer video distribution define the word Play as “the film has started playing.” A “Play” can be any time length, as little as 1 second. Furthermore, technically seen, a Play can occur without a person viewing any content. In summary, a Play has no value unless the amount of time and viewability are included in the evaluation.

The word “View” is defined by most digital media as the percentage of viewability in-screen. An official “View” is often counted with as little as 1% of the content visible in-screen on a device. Low visibility does not build recognition of content therefore a view has no value unless it is defining the % in-screen and length of time of exposure.

Welcome to the Data Jungle

Here are 3 scenarios to illustrate the possible outcome of a video marketing campaign. Which scenario do you feel will produce the greatest memory recall and engagement?

1. An advertiser receives 100,000 Plays of a video where 1% of the video was visible in screen for each Play.

2. An advertiser receives 100,000 Plays of a video where each Play lasted for 1 second.

3. An advertiser receives 10,000 Plays of a video where 10.000 people saw minimum 60 seconds of the video in full screen view.

The following diagram illustrates how differently each video distribution platform defines Plays and Views.

The top line shows the length of time for a Play to be counted. Below the line shows the in-screen rate required to count as a view.

In summary, consider this advice: Always ask for Play, View, and Time when you evaluate video performance.

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