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Break Media announced a new ROI Council to analyze and determine online video advertising effectiveness and better understand the challenges in measuring ROI for the online video medium. The council members are all large companies and I’d prefer to see some journalists and individual consultants added to the list. Break Media held an event in NYC on Tuesday and below are the notes from the meeting provided to CN by Break Media’s PR agency.
Andrew Budkofsky (SVP of Sales and Partnerships, Break Media) kicked off the event by comparing online video return on investment to a dress code: it’s open to interpretation. This seemed rather apt for the setting of the 21 Club, renowned for its old New York style and strict business attire policy.
Kris Magel (SVP Director National Broadcast, Initiative Media) provided a perspective on the current state of the online video marketplace and opportunities for advertiser. He noted:
- There is an opportunity for high delivery with the online video medium with less clutter; we know it works well even though there is a lot of confusion out there.
- There is an imminent need for industry benchmarks, especially when you get into unique custom content which is much more difficult to measure.
- There is tremendous opportunity for learnings around measurement through segmenting out different kind of video delivered on the Web, including full length video with mid roll ads and in-video interactive overlays or skins. How can we know how ads perform on Hulu compared to Yahoo?
- The measurement of engagement has to be conducted by a neutral third party; digital advertising has to add value to the overall package and enhance the experience for consumers and advertisers.
Jason Valentzas (VP of Consumer Marketing, truTV) provided insight into how truTV is navigating the online video marketplace
- Jason provided an example of the Beach Patrol Webisodes, which follow recruits trying to become lifeguards. He showed how truTV was able to ascertain that the program delivered strong ROI, 2x the value invested, through working across different channels such as Yahoo, MSN and Break.
- Jason highlighted the important of content seeding across video sharing networks and how user commentary helps drive interest.
- Jason also noted that they found shorter clips had higher viewing completion rates but longer clips had higher CTR. Right now they are focused on trying to get tune-in and driving awareness so shorter clips garner more views.
- In terms of gaps and challenges, Jason highlighted the need for: better third party tracking, tie backs to linear network acquisition & retention metrics.
Matt Culter (VP of Marketing & Analytics, Visible Measures) discussed core metrics to gauge ROI in online video:
- Matt provided a sample 30 second ad made for TV but that was pushed out online. On this video he asked the audience to predict the highest points of engagement. Then he showed how and where actual engagement was happening and where people were rewinding compared to actually leaving site. Initial abandonment is on average 30%, so he stressed the importance of the opening of an online video
- Matt showed how they were able to take engagement curves and captivation to find out what viewers find particularly interesting. Engagement index – how can different ads be compared.
Andrew Budkofsky (SVP of Sales and Partnerships, Break Media) along with Keith Richman, (CEO of Break Media) provided details on its newly formed Online Video ROI Council.
- Andrew highlighted the charter of the council, which is to better understand advertising ROI in online video through research and the sharing of experience, as well as to develop more reliable metrics.
- Keith and Andrew noted the action plan includes uncovering media buyers and perceptions of online video ads, along with sharing lessons learned and providing a higher level of accountability.
- The future of what the council is expected to bring was also discussed, which includes: expanded use of quality metrics, a deeper dive into online video ROI and a study of high involvement versus low involvement.
- Andrew also noted how advertisers, brands and vendors can be involved through joining the council and attending quarterly meetings to discuss campaigns, conduct their own research and work with other council members to establish standards.