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Adobe Summit: New Video Analytics in Adobe Analytics

Scott Smith presented a session on video analytics.  Analytics regarding video has been rough to achieve.  There have been few standards and the complexity has been high.
Abode has introduced a Video Heartbeat Tracking library where they hope to simplify implementation of video analytics.  They also want to introduce stability into process and help you understand more about your video usage.  This is becoming more and more important as video consumption moves from traditional TV to all of our connected devices.
Challenges we all face:

  • Granularity vs Cost – how many server calls am I going to make to track usage vs the cost to make all these calls. RIght now companies send tracking data at quartiles of the video.  If a video is short, like 5 minutes, the quartiles give you data back every minute, which is OK. As videos get longer, the quartiles get longer and you loose information.
  • Different players and player vendors – flash, html 5, third party
  • Measuring across devices and platforms – measuring in set top boxes, AppleTV, Roku, etc.
  • Syndicated content – your videos get syndicated on many different sites
  • Deciding what metrics to track
  • Understanding how video is impacting business (ROI, KPIs, etc.)
  • Video types – live streaming, video on demand

Heartbeat – what is it.  Heartbeat is a ping that lets us know you are still watching a video.  Adobe Analytics now has a video heartbeat tracking capability.   Data contained in a heart beat includes: environment, event info, asset information, stream information and user information.  There is also milestone tracking which Heartbeat is the new method.
During playback, a heartbeat is sent every 10 seconds.  These go to a pre-aggregation layer.  When the video is complete or abandoned, final time spent and completion metrics are sent to Adobe Analytics.  By going to 10 seconds, you get improved granularity of time spent tracking and you can also get real-time data. 
How does this affect Ad tracking?  Ads are tracked the same way – through the Heartbeat.  Adobe is working with Ad servers to ingest meta data from those servers.  New metrics that are available include impressions, duplicate views, bounce rate, average ads per video and time spend on ads. These metrics help you optimize your ad recipe.  If you have a pre-roll, you can use the analytics to determine the effect on viewing the content based on the pre-roll ad time.
How does this help with Standardization?  First the 10 sec heartbeat becomes a standard.  Adobe is defining a set of reserved variables so everyone has access to the same data. There are 7 core video variables and 7 ad variables.  You can then add custom variables on top of these (for which you have to pay additional money).
With these standards, Adobe will also be able to show benchmarks.  By taking out customer specific data, the standardization allows Adobe to compare video analytics across industries, content type, etc.
Adobe is also including real-time reporting for video.  You can pick a few measures and within Adobe Analytics see trends as they happen in real-time.  Later this year, Adobe is going to report on live events and video on demand.
Pricing in the past has been based on the number of server calls.  Adobe is moving to a stream-based pricing model.  So you pay one price for a stream.  In the stream you can track ads as well as content for the same price.  To estimate the cost, all you need is to estimate the number of streams you want to track.
Right now this new Heatbeat is available on ActionScript, Javascript, IOS and Android platforms.  Other platforms are coming later this year.

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Mark Polly

Mark Polly is Perficient's Chief Strategist for Customer Experience Platforms. He works to create great customer, partner, and employee experiences. Mark specializes in web content management, portal, search, CRM, marketing automation, customer service, collaboration, social networks, and more.

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