Think Consumer, Not Platform, for Online Video

Now that iMedia’s second annual Online Video Summit has wrapped, it’s comforting to know that most everyone in the industry feels the same way about the video landscape. Online video’s nothing new to a media plan, but how advertisers are viewing it and reporting on it has evolved.

Two major themes stood out among all of the keynotes and sessions:

  • It’s all about the consumer, not the platform.
  • The industry can’t agree on how to measure online video and television.

Consumer, Not Platform
With consumers having more choices for what video they consume, as well as when and where they want to do so, they are seamlessly watching shows or other short- or long-form content without any consideration for the device. Whether it’s TV, laptop, smartphone or tablet, it doesn’t matter. This is why ABC considers programming in terms of short- and long-form content and not as TV or online video. If you don’t plan your media accordingly, you may be left behind. Convergence and consumer habits continue to evolve, and this approach helps ensure your media mix adapts.

How to Measure Online Video & Television
Measurement always tends to be a topic of discussion, no matter what you’re attempting to track. Traditionally, it’s been measuring gross rating points (GRPs), a result of the reach of your target and the number of times you reach it. In newer forms of video, especially online video, it’s become more about views, completed views, clicks and engagement.

Since marketers are comfortable with GRPs, many conversations discuss forcing online video into the box of being reported in GRPs. If you take out the variables of accuracy with doing this, and the viability of being able to do this, the true argument comes down to a single question.

Should we force online video measurement to live in a box we’ve used to measure TV with for more than 60 years?

GRPs Are Not the Answer
No matter which side of the fence you are on, we can all agree that as this evolution continues, all media will have increased pressure put on it to prove effectiveness and return on investment. Measurement needs to be customized depending on the brand campaign parameters. If we all decide that GRPs are the golden measurement for online video, then we run the risk of putting the technological advances of media into a box and locking them and their benefits away from anyone’s reach.

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Tim Glover
Tim Glover