IT Blog


What really is video view these days?

Contibutor: Oti Ukubeyinje

There seems to be a consensus on what a viewable video view is – 50% in view for 2 continuous seconds according to the IAB. However, when it comes to a video view on the buy-side, there’s a total disconnect. Different platforms have different definitions, with different reporting structures, leading to different cost structures for media planners. Google Ads (for Youtube Trueview) says “Avg. CPV is the average amount you pay when a viewer watches 30 seconds of your video (or the duration if it’s shorter than 30 seconds) or engages with your video, whichever comes first. Facebook Ads gives several options including 2, 3, and 10 seconds, and Thruplay (The number of times your video was played to completion, or for at least 15 seconds). Twitter Ads defines a video view in accordance with the IABs video viewability definition above, but goes further to offer 3 secs/100% view, and 6 seconds 50% view.

While all platforms still go through the RTB process in the back end, which is based on eCPMs, some platforms now allow you to buy video ads on a CPV basis, or CPA, where = video view. This is where the disparity begins. Google Ads sticks with its view count to determine your Max and Average CPV. Max being the amount you enter that you are willing to pay for a view. Facebook Ads allows you select to pay per 2 seconds view (IAB standard) or per Thruplay. Twitter Ads allows you set your Max CPA for 3 secs/100% view, or 6 seconds view. Notice the inconsistencies. Meaning for the same 30 seconds video, you will have to count views differently, making it difficult to benchmark performance based on their definition of a view and the reported cost per view. This also makes media planning a little tricky.

View Rate (VR) now has different meanings on different platforms as well. Google Ads reports view rate as views divided by impressions. This used to be View Through Rate (VTR) and I’m not sure when it changed. Facebook and Twitter ads don’t report View Rate, instead you get result rate, based on the view count you chose. Some other platforms define View Rate as the average time your video was watched divided by the length of the video. So if the average view was 10 secs, and full length is 30 secs, View Rate will be 33%. This makes more sense if you ask me, while the others should simply be VTR as we knew it some time ago. It’s quite frustrating. Even the IAB fully appreciates this confusion and has completely removed views from its in-stream video ad metric definitions.

The good thing however, is that all platforms, including the ones not mentioned above, have one thing in common; view consumption rate, otherwise known as viewership or quartile reporting. All platforms report video consumption at 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% (Facebook ads reports 95% as well). This seems to be the only metric they all agree on, including platforms like Opera and other programmatic platforms for both in-stream and out-stream video ads. This might just be the solution for unified measurement, reporting, effective benchmarking and proper pricing during planning. It is worth looking deeper into.

All that said, I have a few questions:

What is the most important metric for your video ad campaigns?

Currently, what is your definition of a view (especially when calculating CPV and View Through Rate) on Facebook, Google, Twitter et al?

Do you feel concerned about the disparity in view count across platforms and or you have figured a way around it?

Are you willing to explore more standard video metrics across all platforms such as quartile performance for planning, budgeting, reporting and benchmarking?


About Oti Ukubeyinje

Oti Ukubeyinje is a Digital Marketing professional with over 10 years experience and a proven track record of developing and executing digitally led marketing initiatives to drive growth and profitability for B2B and B2C brands.

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