FEATURE20 August 2012

Playing the online video game

Features News

Online video measurement firm Visible Measures has closed a $21.5m funding round led by DAG Ventures. Joe Fernandez caught up with Brian Shin (pictured), founder and CEO, to find out about the company’s progress and ambitions.

Research: Congratulations on achieving this latest funding round. What does this mean to you?
Brian Shin:
For me, this funding is vindication of the hard work of our team at Visible Measures and the massive potential that there is still left untapped in the video advertising environment. That our investors and partners recognise Visible Measures’ singular vision to change the game in digital video puts us in a very fortunate position and vindicates our choices in how we grow our business and work with advertisers and publishers to make video an essential component in the marketing cycle and one where the measurements provide a solid return on investment.

What are your plans for using the funding?
We’re on track to surpass 300% revenue growth for our second consecutive year and want to continue helping the industry become more self-empowered with their use of video as a marketing tool. Key to this is that they understand the datasets and analytics that can be obtained through this medium and they utilise this as a customer relation tool that can help influence the bottom line. We will be focused on enhancing our premium choice-based video platform for advertisers.

Our central vision is to empower all users – be they media owners, publishers or brands – through our massive, exclusive video dataset and analytics platform. There is a lot of debate out there about how virals are great PR tools but are not so useful beyond the oxygen of publicity. We disagree. With the right analytics, you can optimise your video campaigns for earned viewership by reaching the right people at the right time. That’s our ultimate goal as a company.

One of your core backers is Advance Publications, owners of Condé Nast. How does that help with development of your offering?
Working with a media company of Advance’s size helps us build our profile and gives us a platform to showcase the fact that video is the best way to build your brand and capitalise on the mass audience movement to online media sources. Consumers are now in control and by recognising that it has helped to open doors for us with brands including P&G, Ford, Microsoft and Unilever. We’ve helped them to use video not just as a messaging tool, but one that can be built on as part of a bigger vision. Online video has gone beyond simply repeating old ad campaigns. It’s now a content stream of its own, opening up new dialogues and telling new stories. So much so that online video ad spending is projected to approach $10bn within five years.

So what are the big challenges for measurements and analytics in this space then, given the rapid growth that is expected?
Part of the problem with video marketing has always been that it’s an incredibly complicated process to undertake. From the planning stages right down to the measurements it requires a lot of attention and structured targets to ensure that it fulfills its true worth. The big challenge ahead is proving this worth and firms need to become more savvy about how they gather and present data using a combination of big data and analytics.

Video on mobile devices, particularly tablets, is shaping up to be a catalyst for e-commerce. ComScore reports that e-commerce visitors who watch a video are 64% more likely to make a purchase than those who don’t. Fundamentally, the job of metrics is to prove this. These metrics include video engagement and content. True Reach, our Media Ratings Council-accredited performance metric for paid, owned, and earned media in video, is achieving this. Consumers are actually choosing to watch, share and evangelise video advertising, and brand marketers need a way to quantify all the resulting earned media. That’s the biggest challenge for everyone in the video analytics space and our funding will spearhead advancements in this area.