“We don’t make videos – we make them famous,” said Scott Button, CEO, Unruly, at FIPP’s Innovation Forum today in London.
Unruly’s tools help clients to predict the ‘spread’ of a video campaign, before it launches. “We can predict things such as sharing, viral views and earned media impact,” said Button. The company is also able to provide customer testing for videos, combined with a dataset they have on 400bn video views over the last seven or eight years to identify which factors drive ‘shareability’.
Button said that speed with video is important, citing 25 per cent of shares of a campaign occurred in the first three days in 2013. In 2014, this has increased to 42 per cent.
Button added that video sharing began in 2006, and has now exploded. “One of the first video campaigns to go viral got around 60,000 shares, and everyone thought it was a big deal. In 2013, one video got shared 10 million times. The scale available to advertisers now is huge,” he said. “Consumers are sharing more than ever before, and this is continuing to rise exponentially.”
Talking about video distribution platforms, Button said that less than a quarter of global video views happen on YouTube, followed by Facebook at 10 per cent. “None of the other players have more than about two per cent,” said Button. He went on to say that YouTube’s video share is declining in most markets, due to the launch of new video platforms optimised for mobile, for example Vine and Instagram, although they are currently very small platforms for advertisers.
While the scale of video is huge and opportunity for advertisers very appealing, Button said brands are now demanding to know the ‘viewability’ of their videos. “They want it as a guarantee,” he said. “If you deliver a million views but only half are viewable, they will only pay for half the delivery. This is rational, but quite disruptive.”
Button said that advertisers are now working with third-party companies to verify the viewablity of ads. “If you don’t have the data on your inventory, you have a big problem, because your advertiser does and you’ll end up with a lot of wastage,” he said.
So what makes a video ‘shareable’? Button said there are two main factors – emotional impact/intensity, and giving a good reason to share. Are you sharing it for public good? Is it of interest to a friend?
As for where people are watching video, Button said it’s no surprise that it’s mobile. “It really is becoming the fist screen,” he said. “We’re working with media partners who are seeing their mobile consumption jumping from a quarter or a third to over a half. Within 12 months, mobile (smartphones) will be where the majority of traffic is happening. Content and ad format needs to be taken into account for this platform first. It’s turning the media world upside down.”