U.S. digital video ad spending will reach $9.84 billion in 2016, according to eMarketer -- although few companies have the technology to rate sentiment and performance of messages in online video campaigns similar to some of the features available for traditional television.
Microsoft will begin rolling out in April a content rating tool for online video that measures viewer sentiment in real-time every five seconds. The tool, part of the Microsoft Pulse service, allow marketers to test the message in the video similar to its version for live content and television.
"Getting scientific feedback on their creative and messaging is difficult," said Dritan Nesho, head of Microsoft Pulse.
Video Pulse takes the Pulse service beyond live interactions such TV content, focus groups, or meetings and conferences, and rates prerecorded digital video through a responsive web app that is accessible from any of the main OSs.
With the proliferation of online video, the free self-service platform allows advertisers, creative teams, and brand managers to gauge the interest of audiences in online video before taking messages to television or in-theater advertising.
Brands upload a video through Azure Media Services to make it part of the Pulse voting page. The data, which is tied to the video stream, is aggregated across respondents giving media buyers, creative production departments, and market researchers insight into what viewers think. Researchers can see the data stream though a dashboard.
Going through the data second by second, marketers can see how viewers rate the video in aggregate. Nesho said in the future, marketers will have an option to let viewers rate the video multiple times, showing how many times their opinion shifts over time.
U.S. mobile video ad viewership jumped 80.6% in 2015 204.6 million views, and is forecast to reach 221.4 in 2017, according to eMarketer.
Marketers also have the option of annotating longer videos to focus on one specific message. Through a feature called Snapshot API, marketers can download the data into a business intelligence or analytics platform to see how the data for that message trends across a period of time.
Rating sentiment isn't the only challenge for brands when it comes to online video.
eMarketer summarizes a February 2016 survey from Forrester Consulting, commissioned by Videology, that asked respondents what influences their digital video ad spending.
Some 50% of U.S. advertisers and agencies note concerns around video ad fraud or bots -- as well as audience verification, return on investment verification, and measurement -- as factors affected digital video ad spending.
Nesho said Video Pulse can provide protections against these issues.