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InContext / An inside look at the business of digital content

Get a Good Picture of Your Video Audience

December 1, 2014 | By DCN

Over the past several years, there has been a rush to create ever more digital video content by those you’d expect—traditional broadcast companies such as A+E Networks and NBCUniversal and multiplatform companies like Bloomberg and ESPN—as well as a slew of “print-” or “text-based” companies such as Conde Nast and Business Insider. Yet with companies rushing headlong to heed the siren song of booming digital video viewership and ever-increasing demand for video advertising, it is so good to read a level-headed evaluation of video audiences by way of Chartbeat Chief Data Scientist, Josh Schwartz.

He writes:

There’s significant momentum for publishers toward increasing the production of video content, on account of both the strength of video as a medium for storytelling and high video CPMs as advertisers begin to move their TV spends online (see the Chicago Tribune’s coverage for one example). An increase in video content across the board, of course, means that it’s all the more important that we have a sense of which parts of our audience we can hope to reach with video…

When visitors land on a text-based article, in almost all circumstances they read some portion of the article’s content… With video consumption, though, the situation is entirely different: Excepting sites that automatically start videos when a visitor lands on the page, there’s massive attrition between the act of visiting a page with video on it and the act of actually pressing play. Of course, if someone doesn’t even play a video, the quality of the content is moot – we can’t possibly hope to win them over with a video that isn’t watched – so our first goal must be to identify and understand who the best candidates are for pressing play.

His piece “Video Production Is on the Rise – But Who’s Watching?” PBS Media Shift is well worth a read for those making a move into, or seeking to optimize their investment in, digital video.

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