Veenome's product will analyze YouTube videos and channels for content, and make those statistics available to advertisers before they place their ads. The company notes that, unlike other tools, their software looks at the videos themselves—analyzing both the video and audio content—as well as the traditional analysis of metadata, tags and comments. CEO
Kevin Lenane explained that its new offering was a proactive way for brands to analyze videos before they launch a campaign on a certain channel page or with a certain partner.
"Once the videos are published, we collect information on the exact position of the video on the page, the size of the player, whether the video starts on autoplay and whether the video starts on mute. This information is provided by video and in aggregate by channel," he said. "So in addition to getting content analytics on what's inside the video, you also get these pre-campaign viewability metrics which will indicate how viewable the videos are likely to be before any ads are run. Of course, during the campaign we can also run traditional in-session viewability which shows how much of the video is getting viewed by actual users."
Viewability metrics have been a hot topic this past year, with brands pushing for more pricing based around the frequency viewers see a given ad, the time spent watching it and whether the ad was seen as all. However, some publishers are wary of the technology because of widespread inconsistencies in measuring those numbers.
In another approach to the viewability debate, Xaxis, an ad trading technology platform, recently improved its tools to the point where it is now offering a money-back guarantee that ads placed through its services will be seen by live humans and not bots. Like Veenome, the company is also stressing brand safety, noting that marketers need to be more aware of what content their ads are being placed against and how often it is viewed.
Publishers are also seeking to address the viewability issue directly, with some, like Evolve Media, introducing ad products that are billed as providing more transparency and guarantees to brands and agencies without needing third-party tools.
Brian Fitzgerald, president of Evolve, previously told Adweek, "It is critical that publishers get out of a pure impression-based economy and offer brands accountable media. It affords publishers the opportunity to up charge the [cost-per-thousand-impressions rate] or change the pricing model all together, as we have. We did it recently when we began offering social/native video on a cost-per-view basis."
Fitzgerald also noted that even with his system, the number and quality of views the third-party vendors report back can vary quite a bit. He noted that his company is working with the vendors directly to try to optimize their code, to try and standardize how views are tracked and measured.
Meanwhile, the topic viewability will likely continue to gain traction in the ad industry. More vendors are entering the market with technologies to measure and track the metrics, publishers are looking for ways to balance transparency and profitability, and brands are looking for the accountability and guarantees that the right consumers are viewing their messages.