Posted by: Marshall Sponder | February 25, 2008

Measuring Multimedia White Paper by Eric Peterson & Michael Berger

I downloaded and will read Measuring Multimedia Content in a Web 2.0 World by Eric Peterson and Michael Berger:

“…Thanks to relatively straightforward tracking mechanisms powered by JavaScript and ActionScript, content producers are now able to generate a more robust view of the “what, where, and when” of video consumption.”

Most web analytics platforms don’t really do much, if anything for measuring streaming media or RSS Feeds, it’s nice to see this limitation dissolving as time goes on.

“….marketers looking to leverage this strategy need to pay special attention to the following measures:

  • The total number of views and total duration of clips
  • The distribution of referring sources
  • The URL’s where your content is displayed
  • The frequency with which viewers are using commonly available social networking tools associated with video such as “Share”, “Favorites” and “Add to Playlist”.”

I’m thinking that Eric’s and Michael’s paper can become the foundation of Video Social Media Metrics that are now going to be drafted by the Web 2.0 Subcommittee of the Standards Committee and the Social Media Committee – it’s a joint effort of Avinash Kaushik’s and my committees – and I’ll have more to say about that work as it progresses this year.

For example, the definitions on pages 11 and 12 of Measuring Multimedia are forming the basis of the very standards that Gary Angel and I spoke about last year as the opportunity before the Social Media Committee.

A selection of files (called clips) that contain audio or video content and can be played in a web-based media player.

One or more “branded” audio or video streams that may contain series of episodes.
Additional information about the programme, such as the name, number, and date, consisting of one or more clips in a playlist.

The portion of the audio and video file streaming in a media player. One or more clips create an episode.

Unique Multimedia Event
A specific, measurable event associated with a distinct playlist counted a single time based on interaction with the playlist.

Views and Viewers
While “views” and “viewers” sound very much like page views and visitors, in the context of online video there is an important distinction given that video is often designed to be viewed outside of the creator’s web site. Given this, site operators cannot necessarily rely on traditional measures of page view and visitors (although when the views happen on the web site, viewers and visitors are directly analogous.)

In a way, I can almost say that work of defining Social Media Standards is happening in the Web Analytics community in parallel to what the WAA is doing – or what the WAA and IAB might be doing and I think we have to accept that and perhaps create the framework that allows all this information to come together – and that may be the WAA’s real role here, in my opinion.

It’s not so much that “we” will draft the standards, as the community will do it and we can be one of the places where that happens – and I hope, much of it happens at WAASOCIAL, as that may very well be the best place for it all to merge.



  1. Marshall,

    I’m glad you enjoyed the white paper and I’m sure that M. Berger and the folks at Nedstat would be happy to have our work adopted as part of the Social Media Standards that you and Avinash are working on.

    Let’s touch base offline when you’d like to talk.

    Eric T. Peterson
    Web Analytics Demystified, Inc.

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