Some of online video’s top content makers spent all of last week showing advertisers their new programming, but the fact is, lots of advertisers would rather stick with the old, tried and true. Advertisers whose spots run as pre-roll before a day-old version of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” know what they’re getting. They can’t say the same about a piece of satirical video on The Onion Network, made expressly for a Website.
Tremor Video, working with the IAB, did research recently with nine publishers—heavy as either creators of new video or packagers of old TV stuff. The conclusion: “Made-for-Web” content supports advertisers’ goals just about as well as repurposed TV.
When Tremor compared things like engagement, ad-completion and click-though rates, the results were not identical. But they were darn close.
Engagement was slightly higher for made-for-Web content over old TV fare (2.72% to 2.68%). More people watch an entire ad when placed in a repurposed TV video online (91%) rather that new content (83%), but again, not dramatically different. And click-through is almost a photo-finish, 1.1% for repurposed and 1.09% for made-for-Web content. That “made-for-Web” title, by the way, is one that Tremor came up with to distinguish what is what studying—mainly long form videos compared to the same kind of television fare repackaged for Websites.
“I think we were really blown away that from a click-through rate or a completion rate or engagement rate, they all performed incredibly well,” said Doron Wesly, Tremor’s head of market strategy and research. and a high-spirited numbers cruncher. “A lot of people, because of the cachet TV has, would suppose TV would do better” than original Web content.
Wesly’s research also concludes where those videos get seen affects those statistics, more than any demographics.
In TV, there’s the widespread belief that people watch programs not networks. In the online world, where the message shows up is very important.
“We see that the most important signal is the publisher. It’s the number one thing,” Wesly says. “It absolutely does matter.”
Tremor’s research also points out that viewers have no special time to watch a longer original piece of video; it happens throughout the week, at any time.
But for repurposed TV, the real action starts happening mid-week. Wesly speculates—but he emphasizes it’s only a hypothesis—that’s because a lot of TV’s hot shows first air on Sundays, and aren’t available on the Web until a little later in the week.
One of those shows is “Mad Men,” which figures into Wesly’s thinking, thematically. “What do you hear on ‘Mad Men’ almost every week? It is advertisers constantly asking if this campaign they’re being pitched is ‘safe,’ or if such and such show is ‘safe.’ That’s the thinking-- you don’t know what you’re getting—with made-for-Web video.”
The thing is, Wesly says, optimizing technology can match the right program to the right person online, making the decisions that those “Mad Men” execs once needed a lot of hand-wringing and a fifth of Canadian Club to complete. Now, Wesly says, “Technology makes the decision. When we find the person watching, we connect that person with that ad. It really is technology doing that.”