comScore reports that 181 million U.S. Internet users watched nearly 40 billion videos of online video content in January. YouTube ranks first with 152 million views, and the rest of the pack (Sony’s VEVO, Yahoo, Viacom, Facebook) attracted about 45 to 52 million viewers (about one third of the Google-owned leader).
Some interesting statistics from this month’s comScore report:
> 84.4 percent of the U.S. Internet audience viewed online video.
> The duration of the average online content video was 6.1 minutes, while the average online video ad was forty seconds.
> Video ads accounted for 12.2 percent of all videos viewed, but just 0.9 percent of all minutes spent viewing video online.
YouTube viewers watched 18.6 billion videos in 2012’s first month, and that’s 4 per day per person (by my calculations, which haven’t been reviewed by Stalkerofnalts).
And how about ads? We viewed 5.6 billion video ads in January, with Hulu again leading with 1.4 billion ad views. The advertising networks (who stream ads on a variety of properties) ranked next, with Adap.tv at 652 million ad views, followed by BrightRoll Video Network with 598 million, Tremor Video with 580 million and Specific Media with 398 million.
Finally- YouTube channels? Warner and Vevo lead the pack, but Machinima and Maker Studios (aggregates of top YouTube channels) are third and fourth.
I was invited to join a web studio yesterday that provides a fixed CPM or cost per 1,000 views. That means the network promises you’ll earn no more and no less per video view… many of my friends have made that choice. It forced me to examine my current CPM and consider how that might change. Is it in my interest to accept a “floor/ceiling” amount? Or am I optimistic it will grow, and eager to benefit from that?
So today let’s look at attic rats, income for online-video ads, and contrast the sorry current state with what industry analysts predict.
Jim Louderback, CEO of Revision3, recently posted an intriguing article/rant about CPM prices… it’s titled “How Rats in the Attic Made Me Realize What’s Wrong With Prerolls.” Let’s examine the highlights to get a sense about why brands and online agencies have artificially depressed online-video advertising (despite shifts from print/TV to this medium).
Problem (according to Louderback):
Unfortunately, even though those two video ad experiences are as different as rats and wine (KN note: Louderback was inspired having received junk mail for rat extermination and wine), they were probably priced at similar CPMs. That’s because the online video ad market – particularly the pre-roll market — hasn’t progressed nearly as far as print. Those were two markedly different experiences, with wildly different levels of engagement. However, for many buyers, agencies and brands an on-line video pre-roll is valued the same wherever it runs, regardless of viewer intent, ad placement and playback environment. It’s as if Trump and “Take Air USA” paid exactly the same for those two print placements – even though their impact is worlds apart.
Solution (according to Louderback):
If you’re a video ad buyer, understand the value differences between in-banner impressions and engaged in-stream video ads. Focus your energy on the latter, and you’ll get far better results than if you lump the two together. Even though engaged, in-stream video ads will be more expensive, they are still a great bargain – especially if when you target demographic or content affinity along with the in-stream purchase.
Now let’s pull a “you show me yours I’ll show you mine” to see what poor targeting has done to the online-video economy.
Here’s a question for those brave enough to admit in comments below (feel free to use an anonymous name). What’s your YouTube CPM (income per 1000 impressions)? In other words, how much do you make per 1,000 views? It’s easy to compute: simply take your earnings in a given month, divided by the total number of views you get per month (divided by 1,000).
Example: you earned $200 last month. Your videos were viewed 100,000 times. So you divide $200 by (100,000/1,000). You get $200 divided by 100 equals $2.00 CPM.
Since YouTube keeps about a half, that would mean the company is fetching about $4 CPM… which is horrendously low if prerolls were used.
comScore today announced that in the third quarter of this year (3Q 2010) about 1.3 trillion Internet display advertisements were served to people in the U.S. (a 22% growth from the same period in 2009).
We were too lazy to register to download the report, but not so lazy as to avoid making “wild, unfounded generalizations and predications” based only on that one piece of data…
In 2011 6-9 trillion display ads will be seen, with a 32% growth in online-video ads.
More than 95% of the ads will never be seen by human eyes
Of the 5% of ads that are actually seen in the U.S., 54.7% of those won’t be in the U.S.
Just 45 people will see the ads: a staggering 95% of some previous subsegment of the 6-9 trillion ads served.
76.4% of the remaining ads will be seen by high-school kids ages 12-18 who impact .04% of the gross domestic product.
Now here’s what the report will really offer, with italics in my words.
The story behind Facebook’s staggering growth (everything edited out of Social Networking: the movie).
New strategies and innovative ad sizes offered by publisher (words like “target” and “accountable” and “ROI” will be included, and some sample ad formats will show how to be advertisers can ride publishers like a drunk Texas cowboy on a wounded Mexican steer).
Category-level trends and insights (both industries covered: financial, travel AND consumer-packaged goods).
Advertising success stories of mid-sized and niche publishers (including data that’s so powerful it’s almost as real as the 3D Yogi Bear… but less interesting).
Tools to generate more sales leads and evaluate competition (tricks like “put together a white paper, demand registration, then call the person 5 times in the next consecutive 11 days”).
Oh I’m just teasing comScore. But about the lower-case C…
Some of these spots are good enough to stop you from fast forwarding TiVo. Maria Bamford has a wonderfully crazy and self-deprecating style that makes even ME feel sane. She’s not new to Target — check out her subtle “Target” reference in this video from years ago (below). She’s funny in standup (effinfunny.com), but translates even better to web video and was a perfect fit for this wonderfully insane Target campaign.
I hope to see her back, since I think she’ll appeal to Target’s target customer. We’ll still need our “cool” target ads, but this is distinctive and fun, and a refreshing departure from me-two department store ads (wow we’ve got deals… zzzzz). I could honestly see the Target Lady pulling a mini Old Spice video-reply campaign with personalized videos… the mad rush for holidays is far from over, but there’s not likely time for a new campaign. Hey Wieden & Kennedy- if she’s answering questions I’d like to know how many cups of coffee she drinks a day and how many hours of sleep she gets. I’d also savour, like fine wine, some behind-the-scenes outtakes from the commercial shoot.
He knows when you’ve been sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve filled a shopping cart, so don’t abandon it for goodness sakes. Those banner ads you’ve been seeing on random web pages are quite smart, are they not? Perhaps too smart? Almost like they know who you are? Maybe watching you while YOU sleep? Maybe the ad contains some items you left behind, and might otherwise be sent to the Island of Misfit Purchases?
In the case of “Santa vs. Site Retargeting” let’s examine Exhibit A. To my right is a wonderfully simple and precise example of a non-intrusive (compared to e-mail spam or telemarketing) but highly sophisticated online-ad campaign by CafePress, the company that sells and markets my customized Nalts merchandise despite the fact that few hard-working Americans have yet purchased dingle.
Hang in there, folks. We’re building toward the moment you’ll see how it’s not for a lack of smart marketing on CafePress’ side (I had nothing to do with this ad except as a consumer). Now I’ve not yet created clever merchandise for my little CafePress Nalts store, or a significant “call to action” of my audience for this loot because, well, I’m lazy and even I don’t want to appear too pushy. That said, I certainly notice my fellow YouTubers going mental pushing t-shirts, hoodies and custom shoes).
While researching site retargeting (I mean “remarketing) I literallly came across the ad that I’ve copied into the right column. Go ahead and click it. No really, click it. It won’t bite…. It took you to the CafePress Nalts store (which I’m trying to diversify with some products that aren’t so, well, “Nalts”). If you go so far as to select and item and put it into your basket, it’s not the last you’ll see of those luxurious items.
Skip this paragraph if you’re a digital marketing dude familiar with Adwords and Adsense. For the rest? The quickest summary on Google’s Adwords vs. Adsense. Google Adwords is a tool that allows marketers/sellers to “target” ads to individual audiences. Google Adsense is a money maker for publishers or audience generates, hence how YouTube creators receive income based on their portion of the ads we viewers endure. More commonly Adsense is the marketplace vehicle for website publishers or bloggers to to receive income by inviting Google to place these ads in whatever units they prefer (horizontal, squares, banners). It’s mostly an auction model where advertisers pay small amounts by how many ads appear (CPM, cost per thousand) or are clicked (CPC, cost per click).
Google AdWords quietly launched “site remarketing” this year, and avoided the term “retargeting,” perhaps to distinguish itself from the somewhat creepier origin of this practice (which involved cookies and sometimes some breaches on personal data). In fact it shows off some very smart strategies that would normally be available to agencies or media buyers.
Here’s the key paragraph from this post that will be on the test. This CafePress ad unit to your above right is dynamically generated to EXACTLY resemble my abandoned shopping cart on Cafepress! That’s not a dumb banner ad that says “click here” or “ignore me.” It’s the friggin ghost of my abandoned shopping basket! It’s a polite reminder saying “yes, pardon me, sir… we hate to bother you, but did you want us to put these things back on the shelf or would you care to take them home? Most importantly, the ad does not know who you are. It just knows that the person using your browser at one point shopped at a store or visited a website.
Why is this important? Remember, folks, I’m not just a blogger and video fart guy. I’m also consulting with big brands, and trust me when I say this… site retargeting (remarketing) kicks the ass of about any other form of advertising. It’s insanely targeted, efficient, and drives a measurable ROI that is almost unsurpassed.
Let’s put this in physical terms for the few of you who haven’t dozed off. My wife and I load a shopping cart at a Marshalls stores ever few weeks, and about 30% of the time we actually buy the loot. The other 70% of the time we decide the crap’s not quite good enough for the chaotic line. Given the Marshall’s operations team’s inability staff appropriately, what if a bright Marshalls marketing executive later posted a sign on Route 611 that said, (without mentioning our names): “50% off off-season beach towels, a size 49.5 men’s belt, $35 Bostonian shoes.” I’d say to my lady, “Yeah we almost bought them there goods, honey. What say we go back for them, and pick up them kids who’ve been missing since last time we was at Marshalls?”
To sum it up:
Santa knows you’ve been bad or good, but site retargeting (er, remarketing) knows where, when, and how. It’s like a sad and lonely shopping cart that knows the “sun will come out tomorrow… bet your bottom dollar.”
Santa brings you the loot… or not. But site retargeting politely follows you around until you finally say — okay, you’re right. I wanted those goodies, and I’ll just have to swallow the shipping price (I think free shipping would be more effective than the code for 15% off, which doesn’t even appear to work).
It’s time to expand the old marketing truism that “it’s easier to sell more things to an existing customer than a new one.” Let’s treat site visitors — whether to the homepage or to an abandoned cart — as customers not prospects. We can serve their needs (whether they need them or not) with the efficient tools at even a small business’ disposal.
And hell, compared to elves, they’re cheaper, less likely to unionize, and slightly less creepy.
Advertisers like safe content, and it won’t be long before media buyers restrict certain YouTube ads to “safe” videos to protect their marketing clients and brands. So now that mama Google allows YouTube partners to note that the video is “safe” (no drugs, no violence, no sex, and no drugs), I’d urge you to code yours accordingly.
I just found my three most-viewed videos representing 50 million of my 160 million views (one is a scary prank, one is “funny“, and the third is “cute“). Then (see below) I rated them “safe” via the content-rating tool YouTube rolled out recently.
Are advertisers yet targeting content, and serving higher “CPMs” (the cost per impression metric that is the lifeblood of YouTube) around these videos? Don’t know yet, but it seems inevitable. And it took just a few minutes.
I can’t hurt since I am not so ambitious as to stray from generally family-safe content… I think I’ll survive if I just lost some high-CPM preroll ads featuring porn and crack ads. Yes I just said crack.
Hey this post will be good for search-engine discovery. Watch it become one of my most-f’ing viewed posts.