Not All Video Plays Are Created Equal

From JW Player’s “Anatomy of a Video” Series

There’s a common misconception in the world of video: Most people think a video play is just a video play. Click a button and the content begins.

But there’s much more to it.

The definition of a play depends on who you’re asking and what you’re measuring. Here at JW Player, we believe that not all plays are created equal, and it’s important to understand what these differences are. Knowing how to evaluate the quality of a play is key to increasing views and engagement.

 

The definition of a play is tricky. A play might be:

 

  • The moment when the embedded player receives the request to play
    If load times are too long and the viewer bounces from the site, was there a play?

 

  • The three seconds after a pre-roll completes
    If the pre-roll doesn’t work or the video doesn’t run past the three seconds after the ad, did the play count?

 

  • The first frame of a piece of content
    If a loss of bandwidth interrupts the video, did the play occur?

 

  • The autoplay
    If viewers did not intend to watch and aren’t paying attention to content, is it fair to call it a play?

 

Now that we’ve covered different ‘play’ definitions, here’s how we approach them: At JW Player, we’re focused on the quality of plays, not just the quantity. While none of these definitions above are 100% right or wrong, they can make things confusing. We’ve created a way to make sense of the data.

 

Our powerful Segmentation tool aggregates plays across your network, allowing you to slice and dice your data. By grouping plays by location, player, and tags, you can monitor all your “plays” and grow the ones that matter most to you. You can analyze 16 different video metrics, such as completes, time watched, and ad impressions—things that are not usually provided by other video companies or in an overall analytics view.

 

When it comes to building a sustainable video business, the quality of your plays is vital. A publisher might see 1,000 plays for a video. But only 300 of them actually engaged a user or resulted in a viewer completing the video. It’s wise to question how well the plays did rather than assume that all 1,000 plays performed to their fullest.

 

With our Segmentation tool, you can use these insights to dive deeper into how your plays are enhancing Quality of Experience (QOE), which includes factors like whether users are likely to stay on the site, watch another video, or come back again. You can go beyond the surface and make strategic decisions based on your understanding of what kind of content viewers are most engaged with, which devices they’re coming from, and how advertising is performing in different areas.

 

In short, you can figure out which plays are actually working for you—and feature more of these videos to boost CPMs. Advertisers pay more for content that’s widely viewed.

 

So the next time you start a video, remember one of our JW Player “principles.”

“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that not all video plays are created equal, that they are endowed by their Publisher with certain measurable metrics, that among those are completion rate, engagement, and the pursuit of (viewer) happiness. ”  

 

Let our Segmentation tool boost your plays! Schedule time to talk with one of our video experts.

 

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Infographic: The Evolution of Video Advertising

Where we’ve been and where we’re going

In the past decade, video advertising has changed a lot. We’ve come a long way from a simpler time when a TV spot could double as a pre-roll placement. Today, publishers are facing questions like: Are your ads click-to-play? Do they reach real humans or just bots? Are they meeting industry standards?

We created this infographic to track key milestones, future challenges, and what you can do to make the most of the video advertising world. It’s complicated out there—we’re here to help!

 

Click to enlarge or to download the infographic

 

Ready to make your videos profitable? Schedule time to talk with one of our video experts.

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Viewers and Publishers Need Net Neutrality

Net neutrality is once again under threat.

The new FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, has proposed reversing the Commission’s 2015 decision to protect net neutrality under Title II of the Communications Act.

Chairman Pai has scheduled a vote on these revised rules for December 14th.

If the FCC removes the Title II classifications on Internet Service Providers (ISPs), many small- and mid-sized publishers will be at a severe disadvantage—and end-viewers will miss out. Most ISPs are also video content providers, so it’s easy to imagine them prioritizing their own content over others on their IP networks (or even blocking competing content altogether).

JW Player supports independent publishers and video content creators around the world and their dedication to providing the best user experience for their viewers regardless of which network delivers the content.

We encourage everyone to learn more about this important issue at Battle for the Net. If you are as concerned about it as we are, call the FCC (1-888-225-5322) and your members of Congress to tell them you support an open and fair Internet.

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Where Is My Ad Running?

A conversation about trust and transparency in digital video advertising from New York Advertising Week

You’re a media buyer. You’re trying to place a video ad online. It goes into the rabbit hole of agencies, ad exchanges, servers, data aggregators, and a myriad of other agents before it makes it to the consumer. At the end of it all, you’re left wondering, Where did my ad actually run?

At New York Advertising Week’s panel “Programmatic Video in the Converged World,” September 28, 2017, industry experts from across the online video landscape—including JW Player COO Bill Day—explored how the latest trends in digital advertising impact trust and transparency in the ad ecosystem.

      

With the rise of automation through programmatic advertising, marketers have less control over how, when, and where their ads appear. Sometimes these ads end up on sites and placements that compromise brand safety. As Shenan Reed, President of MEC Global, summed up, a chief concern for buyers is: “Are my media dollars really working for me?”

This “whole new world” of digital advertising has “created more questions,” said Phil Cowlishaw, Head of Advertising Cloud Consulting Solutions at Adobe. “Not just about CPM (cost per thousand impressions), but what is the user journey? Did the ad drive conversion or was the person going to convert anyway?”

Middlemen complicate the process. “There are many layers to the onion,” said Day.  When an ad passes through several hands on its way to the publisher, the risk of false impressions increases.

Combating fraud is “everybody’s job,” said Reed. One way that panelists lauded was the recent partnership between Trade Desk and White Ops to block false impressions before purchase and clean up fraudulent ad inventory.

Another key step in combating fraud? A mutual acknowledgement from publishers and advertisers that the problem affects both and not only the buy-side. “If you’re a seller (publisher),” Day continued, “you have to understand you must be vigilant too.”

To dive deeper into digital video advertising and discover how you can maximize your ad fill and CPMs:

 

Visit JW Monetize

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Creating “Thumb-Stopping Moments” in Video

Insights from JW Player’s “How to Become a Video First Business” Panel at New York Advertising Week

When the digital landscape is saturated with click-or-swipe videos, how do you create the “thumb-stopping moment” that keeps your audience tapped into your content?

JW Player CEO, Dave Otten, explored this question as moderator of the “How to Become a Video First Business” panel at New York Advertising Week on Thursday, September 28, 2017. By interviewing executives from Business Insider, LittleThings, and Index Exchange, he uncovered tips and takeaways on successfully transitioning from a traditional, “article-first” publisher to one that embraces video’s central role in content and marketing strategy.

 

 

For panelists, becoming a video first business was all about building a superior user experience combined with a robust ad strategy. Among their insights:

 

  • Figure out what truly resonates with your audience. “It’s an iterative process,” said Jana Meron, VP of Programmatic & Data Strategy at Business Insider, on curating “reader-first” stories that are most relevant to her company’s segments.
  • Bring your videos in-house. Justin Festa, Chief Digital Officer at LittleThings, said his company took control of their own videos with JW Player rather than third-parties that took significant cuts in revenue for ad delivery and playback. They were able to combine this in-house strategy with social media giants like Facebook to drive traffic to videos.
  • Tell the story ahead of the video. Thumbnail optimization and closed captioning can seed interest before users click ‘play.’
  • Repurpose. Clip existing content and fit them to various platforms, e.g. 35 minutes on OTT, 2- to 3-minute native videos on Facebook, or 10-15 seconds on Instagram.
  • Champion transparency in the ad ecosystem. Trust is going to be a major theme in the ad landscape, said Jourdain-Alexander Casale, VP of Strategy at Index Exchange. If you are unsure whether your impressions are authentic or why your pricing rates don’t match ad inventory, invest in tools like ads.txt, which is helping to improve transparency in digital advertising.
  • When it comes to ads, less is more. In-stream pre-rolls are key, but don’t over do it. As Festa said, “When you create a better user experience, the dollars will follow.”

 

For more on how you can integrate ads seamlessly in your video strategy, visit JW Monetize.

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