ComScore Video Metrix released data Friday showing that 178 million U.S. Internet users watched online video content in June 2011. This means 85.6 percent of the U.S. Internet audience viewed online video that month.
But while asking comScore’s Dan Piech some questions about methodology, I got an even bigger scoop: comScore and YouTube are planning to announce YouTube Partner Reporting this summer. This new feature will break out the individual audiences for partners and their channels for the first time.
Marketers will be able to learn much more than Google Sites, driven primarily by video viewing at YouTube.com, ranked as the top online video content property in June 2011 with 149.3 million unique viewers. Marketers and media planners will also be able to learn the number of unique viewers belonging to different YouTube channels, as well as the demographics of those viewers.
This will enable CBS, Machinima, Philip DeFranco and hundreds of other YouTube Partners to monetize their content in new ways by having their audiences represented to the agencies and brands that actively use Video Metrix data.
Why so much focus on YouTube? According to comScore Video Metrix, YouTube.com represents more than 99 percent of the video viewing at Google Sites.
YouTube had more than 147.8 million U.S. viewers in June, giving it a significant lead over VEVO with 63.0 million U.S. viewers, Yahoo Sites with 52.7 million U.S. viewers, Microsoft Sites with 50.7 million U.S. viewers, and Viacom Digital with 49.5 million U.S. viewers.
It’s also worth knowing that comScore tracks both in-stream advertising videos as well as content videos. By being able to split-out the metrics associated with both types of video, comScore can provide publishers and media planners with:
- The ability to determine “ad clutter” for competing publisher sites.
- The ability to determine reach of in-stream advertising.
- The number of video ad-impressions publishers serve on a monthly basis.
- The number of content videos that are available for media planner to plan against.
One of the questions that triggered this scoop was about the frequent disparity between census-based site analytics data and panel-based audience measurement data, which has long been the Achilles Heel of digital media measurement. Because the two measurement techniques have different objectives, they employ different counting technologies, which often results in differing metrics that can cause confusion and uncertainty among publishers and advertisers.
Piech told me that comScore has implemented a “panel-centric hybrid” solution to digital audience measurement, creating a blend of these two methodologies into a “best of breed” approach called “Unified Digital Measurement.” It provides a direct linkage and reconciliation between the census and panel approaches.
This approach combines person-level measurement from the 2 million person comScore global panel with server-side metrics in order to account for 100 percent of a partner’s audience.
Participating companies place tags on their video content and ads, and these calls are recorded by comScore servers every time that content is accessed. ComScore is able to view these calls on its global panel in addition to measuring the direct server calls. This allows comScore to validate that the tags are measuring activities consistent with its audience measurement methodology.
ComScore then applies some proprietary data cleansing and validation processes, and once validated the tag counts are used to set the usage levels by site. In addition, comScore has developed a proprietary methodology to combine panel and server-side metrics in order to calculate audience reach in a manner that is not affected by variables such as cookie deletion and cookie blocking/rejection.
ComScore Video Metrix also offers international coverage, with syndicated measurement of 21 countries and custom measurement of many more. Coverage includes the United States, Canada, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Russian Federation, Singapore, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
In short, we're about to learn a whole lot more about YouTube content partners, independent and professional, bedroom and broadcast.