Ooyala: The Bigger The Screen, The Bigger The Engagement

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February 15, 2012 – 8:00 am

ooyalaGiven that TV advertising is by far the biggest advertising category, it stands to reason that transferring digital video content and advertising from the PC and mobile devices to connected TVs and game consoles would lead to similar levels of engagement.

That's one of the data points outlined and explored in digital video analytics provider Ooyala's Q4 report. For one thing long-form videos -- which can be defined as anything longer than 10 minutes -- accounted for 57 percent of the hours watched on a connected. TV device or game console -- double the amount that was recorded the year before. Meanwhile, short videos, while remaining a staple of the web and mobile, accounted for 19 percent of the plays Ooyala counted in Q4.

In essence, the report showed consumers' increasing interest in experiencing digital video through through the wifi-enabled TVs. That embrace even translated into higher views for Google TV, which saw its share of video plays grow an impressive-sounding 91 percent during the quarter, that was largely due to the law of low numbers, as the over-the-top system was only introduced late last year. Still, the numbers for connected TVs do offer some hope for advertisers and agencies looking to run seamless cross-platform campaigns -- as long as they remain patient a little while longer.

So the engagement numbers are pretty decent for connected TV and video on tablet devices, where audiences saw whole videos through to completion 47 percent of the time. But does that necessarily mean that audiences watching digital video on wifi TVs and game consoles are just as tolerant of ads as they are when they're watching regular TV?

Matt Pasienski, Ooyala's Data Scientist, argues yes.

"Viewers are taking a more lean back approach with videos on connected TVs and gaming consoles," Pasienski told TVExchanger. "Broadly, for publishers who have created a lean back experience with broadband video, we see twice as many video streams per user versus on-demand offerings."

An example of the "lean back" content Ooyala runs includes sitcom programming. Viewers are receptive to roughly 80- to 90 percent of the ad load they would see on regular TV, Pasienski claims. The drop-off in viewing tends to happen when there are too many ads at the beginning of the video. Also running the same ad seven or eight times is sure way to lose the audience.

Still, when it comes to keeping the audience, Microsoft's XBox Live console is the strongest offering versus the connected TVs. The gaming console's advantages have to do with audience penetration and acceptance of it as a full entertainment hub. The connected TVs really don't have that, though Pasienski said there was reason to be excited by new TV models coming from Samsung and LG, both of whom have made deals with video ad network YuMe and entertainment guide and ad platform Rovi on embedding their technology into their sets.

And that's where the added challenge to Google TV comes down to. (And we're not even going to bring up the salivating the tech community has been doing over the idea of an actual TV set made by Apple, not just an OTT connective device).

For the moment, the numbers for connected TV video is still fairly small. For 2011, the second screen for video tended to be the tablet. But as the new sets that were previewed at CES arrive at electronics stores over the course of this yet, consumers may embrace their TV as two-screens in one, offering broadband video and traditional TV programming.

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By David Kaplan


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February 15, 2012 – 8:00 am

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