MediaRadar Brings 'Semi-Automated' Approach To Video Ad Measurement

Online video is a staple in consumers’ lives -- and advertising has followed suit -- but Todd Krizelman, CEO of MediaRadar, believes the hype of online video advertising has not been matched by actual data.

“There’s endless hype, but nobody was saying how many advertisers were buying in video, and what they were buying,” he said.

In an effort to solve that, MediaRadar -- a company that measures ads themselves, not their impact on consumers -- on Tuesday announced it has added online video measurement to its offering. The company already measures display, print and social media advertising.

“About a year-and-a-half ago, we started hearing from sports Web sites that they thought video was going to be a big deal,” Krizelman told RTM Daily. “At the time the thought was a novel thing to us. But we started building out a product, and now online video is this very big thing.”

Krizelman said the processes of measuring the ads is a mixture of manual labor and automation. MediaRadar employees first went to about 5,000 Web sites and marked where they saw video ads. The company then measured what type of ad it was (pre-roll, interstitial, etc.) and the content. He called this second part a “semi-automated” process.

“Recording is done by an algorithm,” he said. “The process of looking at the ads is done by us,” he added, with “us” meaning humans. The humans mark down what’s in the ad with specifics -- it was a Ford F-150 ad, not just a Ford ad -- and all of the data is uploaded to a central database, which MediaRadar clients have access to.

But the process of “looking at ads" is is only done by humans the first two times they see an ad. After that, the company uses image recognition to find repeats.

He claims MediaRadar measures about 980,000 digital ads per day using this method, with video ads accounting for a guesstimated 10%.

“One of the things I would tell you is that the number of unique video ads is much smaller than people think,” Krizelman said. “There’s about 650 advertisers using video for food ads. It’s not some huge number that you couldn’t get your hands around.”

The company also measures how the ad was placed -- was it through a programmatic buy, or was a direct deal? Krizelman said this is a common question among MediaRadar clients.

New data gets uploaded to the database every 24 hours, but Krizelman hopes to make it even faster in the future. He said there are clear customer and cost benefits to receiving information more rapidly, but noted that he wasn’t willing to make a trade for speed if it required lower quality.

“To us, the difference between a Ford F-150 and another truck at Ford is a big difference,” he said. “Today, that still requires some level of human intervention. If we are able to keep the accuracy high and do it faster, we would be thrilled.”

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