Ad tech isn’t the only part of online video being transformed by data. The way in which video content is being presented to the consumer is being revolutionised in a similar way, and Ooyala have been one of the companies at the forefront of that change. The company was founded in 2007 in Mountain View, California by three ex-Google employees, and data and analytics was put at the centre of the product road map from the outset. As a product strategy, it’s working – today the company employs approximately 300 people who serve over 600 customers in over 130 countries.
In London, Neil Berry, VP EMEA at Ooyala, says that over the last couple of years the video market has been steadily swinging away from simple, standalone video players, towards a more personalised experience where appropriate content is recommended to you.”People are looking to do more than simply get video up online,” he says. “There are now plenty of players in the market who can do that quite cheaply, but a more difficult question is how you can create a more immersive experience for the consumer. We believe you can do that by the power of analytics, understanding how people like to view video, and providing people with the opportunity to engage for longer. All of this of course creates more opportunities for monetisation.”
As with data-driven advertising, it’s important to have sufficient scale to make it work. “Outside of YouTube we are the largest global network for video consumption, so we’re sitting on the largest database in terms of understanding consumer behaviour and how they consume video. Approximately 200 billion analytics events are processed through our network every month,” adds Berry.
But just how much do people linger on sites that recommend appropriate content? The results vary from website to website, but Ooyala give some (anonymous) examples where an online news organisation saw an increase 47.5% total streams in their first 30 days after turning on their ‘Discovery’ recommendation service, a leading tech news site saw a 21% increase in total streams, while a prominent broadcast network in the UK saw a 33% lift in total video streams.
The cash that that kind of incremental viewing can generate is substantial. Ooyala give the example of a company that averages 4 million streams per month with a £15 CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions). If that company can increase streams by 25% using recommentations, that equals £15,000 more in monthly revenue. Which amounts to £180,000 per year. For most publishers, that sort of money matters.