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Summary:

Web analytics company comScore recently made some changes to its metrics to better address the proliferation of online video. It’s added number of unique video streamers and video streams, improving on the old standards of unique users and page views. Much of the time, the old […]

Web analytics company comScore recently made some changes to its metrics to better address the proliferation of online video. It’s added number of unique video streamers and video streams, improving on the old standards of unique users and page views.

Much of the time, the old and new measures should be similar; a visitor to a video site is usually there to watch a video. However, the new metrics, which kick in whenever a video stream is initiated by a user, account for off-site calls to a video server. That means if a video is embedded somewhere else on the Web — a blog, a MySpace page, in the video widget strip we run at the top of NewTeeVee — it will now get picked up by comScore.

The easy ability to paste in a bit of code and have a video show up has been key to the viral spread of both video and video-hosting sites, but before now it was difficult to accurately measure the phenomenon unless you had access to private server logs. With the addition of comScore’s new metrics, we might be able to get a better idea of which sites tend to be more viral.

On that note, I asked comScore analyst Andrew Lipsman to run the standard metrics and the new metrics against each other to see if some sites are proportionally more embedded around the Web than others. He looked at market leader YouTube and would-be second-placers Metacafe and Dailymotion. I also asked him to check out Vimeo, which focuses on personal media sharing and is more of a social network; and Revver, which helps creators include ads in their video streams and shares the revenue with them.

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The findings were pretty interesting. Revver is head and shoulders above the other sites in terms of ratio of video viewers to unique visitors, with 2.35 million viewers in June to 477,000 visitors, for a ratio of 4.92.

YouTube and Dailymotion are next (though of course YouTube has way more volume!), at 1.54 and 1.51, respectively. Vimeo and Metacafe are way behind, both at 0.78. That makes sense for Vimeo, given its strong on-site community, but I’m not sure what the explanation is for Metacafe. It seems people tend to go to that site and do other things besides watch video.

Given the data, I’d surmise that Revver has done a much better job than other sites of encouraging video creators to embed their clips elsewhere and reap its shared ad revenues.

That’s especially notable after Revver was blocked by MySpace, starting last January. Furthermore, Revver has seen video stars such as Lonelygirl15, Ze Frank, Ask a Ninja, and Invisible Engine discontinue using the site as their default embed. Still, looking back over data provided by comScore dating back to January, Revver has consistently had the highest video-viewer-to-site-visitor ratio of all the sites we looked at, never dipping below 3.45.

comScore’s video-specific metrics have been in testing for the better part of this year but just recently started being included in public releases, said Lipsman. “In the past we would look at traffic to the video sites; it was a surrogate, but it wasn’t directly measuring video,” he said. “It’s important to be measuring activity more directly, especially when that’s what you’re monetizing.”

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  1. Liz – i thought you were on vacation? I am glad to see that the blogging doesn’t stop.

    Revver and YouTube have much better RSS feeds that are easier to find than Metacafe’s and Vimeo’s. That may have something to do with it. I wish you had included Blip.tv too.

    Are these comScore metrics going to start including hyper-aggregators like Mefeedia and vod:pod? Mefeedia would beat both Vimeo and Revver in terms of US uniques.

  2. Seems like this directly refutes LeeAnn Prescott’s post (http://weblogs.hitwise.com/leeann-prescott/2007/06/youtube_50_more_traffic_than_o_1.html) that shows YouTube has 50% more traffic than all other services combined. She wasn’t counting embeds…

  3. GigaOM The New Data Management, Green Linux & The Flipper « Friday, August 10, 2007

    [...] NewTeeVee: comScore adjusts metrics, better measures video embeds. [...]

  4. Hey Frank — you caught me!

    Don’t worry, I’m having fun and relaxing too. Just in a radically different timezone.

  5. TubeWire » comScore Tinkers With Video Stats Friday, August 10, 2007

    [...] For a good long while now, comScore has been honing its video stats to be a more accurate reflection of how people watch video. This was predicated on measuring the number of videos initiated and watched as opposed to users to the site. Now via NewTeeVee, comScore is measuring which sites users are embedding on their blogs, myspace pages. The results are very encouraging for Revver particularly, which according to comScore, has around four times as many embedding their videos as coming to the site. Read the analysis for yourself. [...]

  6. Mark Schoneveld Friday, August 10, 2007

    Interesting report, Liz, thanks. These kinds of numbers are so important to the video market.

    @Frank: YouTube has easy to find RSS feeds? I beg to differ. I haven’t been able to spot one, ever. Am I missing something?

    Vimeo’s RSS feeds have a huge icon right at the bottom of the page in a well-organized list…

  7. Great article, Liz, and it serves to back up an important point about Revver:

    We’re a platform first and a web site second.

    Our goal is…
    …to provide a simple and effective way for creators to host, distribute, and generally make known their video content (without giving up their rights as content owners). Our truly open network, easy ad pairing, and API are features that continue to lead the field.

    Our goal is NOT…
    …to compete with YouTube and DailyMotion for the title of #1 video portal. We’re here to help you make YOUR SITE and YOUR VIDEOS hits.

  8. I’d like to see an article on how exactly comScore claims to track such “streams”.

    Anyone?

  9. Ukas lenker 10.08.2007 hos IAllenkelhet – Fagblogg om brukervennlighet skrevet av NetLife Research Sunday, August 12, 2007

    [...] ratio for “kjerne-integrasjon” vs “normal [...]

  10. Need-to-Know Web Video Stats: Traffic, Rentals, Revenues, UGC « NewTeeVee Thursday, January 17, 2008

    [...] Need-to-Know Web Video Stats: Traffic, Rentals, Revenues, UGC comScore finally released its online video traffic stats from November today, showing YouTube up healthily and a total of 9.5 billion online videos viewed by 138 million Americans. Google sites had 31.3 percent of videos viewed and 41.8 percent of video viewers on the month, both up a couple points from the last published count in September. We trust comScore more than other analytics vendors when it comes to video measurement, because it counts video streams instead of page views. [...]

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