YuMe VP: Shifting Views on Second Screen Metrics

February 12, 2015 · Posted in Uncategorized 

By Chris Tribbey

LOS ANGELES — Not too long ago, digital video brand ad company YuMe released a study showing which screens garnered the most attentiveness from viewers, and the results could be considered a surprise: The TV was dead last, compared to PCs, tablets and (No. 1 in attentiveness) smartphones.

So why are video ad campaign metrics still stuck in the TV-first era? That was the question posed to Stephanie Gaines, VP of corporate marketing for YuMe, and Rob Harol, senior director of platform monetization at Machinima.com, Feb. 11 at a Digital Entertainment World panel.

“Even three years ago, it was purely performance based [for online video], it was what the click-through rate was,” Harol said. “But that doesn’t measure how effective a brand is. And that’s a concern, that nobody’s actually viewing these ads.”

Just because someone clicks through on a video doesn’t mean the video or ad brand’s successful, Gaines agreed. Today, as video consumption is platform agnostic, more consistent measurement of ad effectiveness is needed, and click-through rate is just the start: time spent on the video, engagement, attentiveness, all are important, and “where were [the viewers] before, where were they after,” the video, she added.

At Machinima, Harol said the challenge of offering ad-supported content mirrors what other multi-platform content companies are encountering: there are different metrics of engagement for what’s showing someplace like YouTube vs., say, an Xbox One, or a tablet, he said. But among ad companies, that realization is still slow to kick in: “There’s still this old school thinking from the ad and brand perspective … they sometimes ignore the reach of other platforms,” Harol said.

Gaines said what some ad companies have figured out is that with second screen video ads, to make them engaging, they almost have to be entertainment themselves, she said. Look at the recent Super Bowl: the ads were accessible before, during and after, and were treated as entertainment in and of themselves. And with online and the second screen, it is easier to get the advanced metrics that can’t be tracked with broadcast ads, she added.

“It’s no longer about destination viewing,” she said. “It’s about generating interest, and it’s not just about the right audience. It’s about the right time, and the right device.”

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