1. Engagement is quantifiable. Marketers want to know how involved viewers are in a Web site. Online audience measurement firm Hitwise said it will begin work on metrics that measure participation and interaction, such as the percent of an audience uploading a video to a site, posting comments or editing entries.
2. Fresh intel is on the way. Move over Nielsen and comScore. Technology firms, cable operators, agencies, media owners and even the marketers themselves will all become viable sources of audience data, says T.S. Kelly, senior vice president and director of research and insight at Media Contacts, a division of Havas Digital.
3. The more, the measurer. Look for an increasing number of partnerships such as the recent alliance between Google and Nielsen, as Web metrics enters a new stage of multi-dimensional online measurement. "Though Nielsen, comScore, DoubleClick and Dynamic Logic are still all important voices in the online measurement discussion, no single supplier can currently capture it all," Kelly says.
4. Say your prayers, pre-roll. Consumers' distaste for pre-roll ads online has been well documented. The Internet Advertising Bureau is currently conducting a study on consumer responsiveness to different lengths of video ads and expects to release the results by spring.
5. Transparency reigns.Web sites will work more closely with leading measurement firms to address discrepancies in data between audience figures provided by Web sites and those from comScore and Nielsen.
6. Targeting is no joke. Video ad targeting firms such as Digitalsmiths, Blinkx, YuMe Networks, Adap.tv and Pluggd are all jockeying to become the Google of online video by matching relevant ads to search results.
7. What's an ad worth?Advertisers and content providers want to know if an ad on YouTube is worth the same as one in a more professional environment. Look for brand marketers to test with their ad agencies the effectiveness of ads in user-generated content versus professional output. Nielsen plans to overlay data from its BuzzMetrics technology with its existing online data to produce more quantifiable information on consumer-generated media.
8. Know it all. By summer 2008, Nielsen plans to measure overall TV viewership across the Internet and TV, and will offer the equivalent of "gross impressions" both for commercial ratings and for programs. "Clients want to know their unduplicated audience across mediums," says Manish Bhatia, president of global services and U.S. sales for Nielsen Online. The company is in the process of creating a single panel for Internet and TV viewing.
9. Return to ROI.When buzz dies down, every advertiser just wants to know what the return on investment is. Nielsen is working to measure effectiveness and response to video, banner and rich media ads and to pair that information with demographic data.
10. Desire, put up with - what's the difference? Look for many tests in the year ahead for pre-roll, in-stream, overlay, text, banner, display and interactive ads as marketers seek to learn what consumers want and will tolerate.