Dig­i­tal video is hot and grow­ing fast, ulti­mately influ­enc­ing video view­ing habits and behav­iors, which are clearly chang­ing. It used to be that only short clips were viewed and shared with friends on a desk­top com­puter. Today, how­ever, dig­i­tal video is explod­ing as view­ers are watch­ing lin­ear tele­vi­sion, live sport­ing events, and full episodes of their favorite TV shows, among other things, on all kinds of devices, includ­ing tablets, smart­phones, game con­soles, and smart TVs. With this, pub­lish­ers and pro­gram­mers are fac­ing a new set of oppor­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges as they work to find new and improved ways to mon­e­tize con­tent while still meet­ing demands and opti­miz­ing the viewer’s experience.

We have been watch­ing these trends closely at Adobe, and with our newest video ana­lyt­ics release, I am delighted that we have been able to address the needs of pub­lish­ers and pro­gram­mers by pro­vid­ing new and improved mea­sure­ment for both con­tent and ads. Our new video ana­lyt­ics capa­bil­i­ties are designed to help pub­lish­ers and pro­gram­mers bet­ter under­stand how con­tent is being lever­aged and then how they can max­i­mize ad mon­e­ti­za­tion oppor­tu­ni­ties while also ensur­ing that view­ers get the best view­ing expe­ri­ence possible.

New Heart­beat Tracking

Over the past sev­eral years the aver­age video has grown in length. With longer dura­tion peri­ods, it has become clear that being able to effec­tively mea­sure “time spent” on any given video pro­vides mar­keters with a bet­ter under­stand­ing of viewer engage­ment. We have addressed this need head on with a whole new heart­beat mea­sure­ment model.

Adobe Ana­lyt­ics’ new mea­sure­ment model is designed to help mar­keters bet­ter under­stand video engage­ment (time spent) with “heart­beats” that will be sent every 10 sec­onds dur­ing a video play­back and/or dur­ing a live event. The ini­tial start server call will be sent directly into Adobe Ana­lyt­ics, but all heart­beats will be sent to a new pro­cess­ing layer, which aggre­gates those heart­beats until the viewer com­pletes the video and/or aban­dons it by clos­ing the browser, mov­ing to a new video, etc. When the view­ing ses­sion is com­plete, a sec­ond and final server call will be sent into Adobe Ana­lyt­ics to com­plete the play­back data set. The new 10-second heart­beat mea­sure­ments will pro­vide time spent with a rolled-up minute gran­u­lar­ity that offers a more com­plete pic­ture of how con­tent is being consumed.

The new heart­beat mea­sure­ment solu­tion has also allowed us to move to a new stream-based pric­ing model. If, for exam­ple, a viewer watches five min­utes or 20 min­utes, cus­tomers will only pay one stream price. This will make it eas­ier for mar­keters to fore­cast and bud­get their video ana­lyt­ics spend because price is solely depen­dent on stream starts (with a stream defined as a 30-minute incre­ment). Cus­tomers can lever­age this new stream pric­ing by imple­ment­ing and/or upgrad­ing their cur­rent player code so they can take advan­tage of this new heart­beat mea­sure­ment solution.

Video Ad Tracking

The good news about video ads, which are still the preva­lent way to mon­e­tize video con­tent, is that the num­ber of video ads deliv­ered con­tin­ues to grow for all lengths and types of video. The key is to try to deliver as many ads as pos­si­ble while min­i­miz­ing the impact and the expe­ri­ence of the viewer with the con­tent. Video ad mea­sure­ment will now be a stan­dard piece of Adobe’s video ana­lyt­ics solu­tion and is also included in the over­all stream price.

Sim­i­lar to video con­tent, a call will be sent into Adobe Ana­lyt­ics at the start of an ad, then 10-second heart­beats dur­ing the ad, and finally one final server call back into Adobe Ana­lyt­ics at the end of the ad. Every ad within each pod and/or com­mer­cial break will be mea­sured the same way.

These new mea­sure­ment capa­bil­i­ties are only the begin­ning. We have also added new met­rics within the video reports, such as impres­sions, aver­age ads per video, time spent on ads, and ad bounce rates. It takes more than just know­ing the met­rics, how­ever; it is crit­i­cal to be able to see how ads are impact­ing engage­ment. Within the new video drop-off report, ad pods will over­lay the con­tent to see how a pod and/or com­mer­cial break impacts the viewer’s deci­sion to con­tinue watch­ing the con­tent. With this knowl­edge, mar­keters will be able to opti­mize ad loads based on ad loca­tion, ad length, viewer seg­ments, etc.

New Video Reports

Adobe is also adding three new/updated beta video reports—Video Overview, Video Detail, and Video Day­part—with this Fall 2013 release, which we’ll be updat­ing and improv­ing over the next sev­eral months.

Video Overview

The Overview Report is an aggre­gate of all your video assets that lets you fil­ter by device and geog­ra­phy. In each report, there are core met­rics cen­tered around video, video ads, and video viewers.

video detail

You can also drill down to one indi­vid­ual video asset, using the Video Detail report, to view met­rics and (as men­tioned above) look at how ads are impact­ing viewer engagement.

Video Daypart

Video Day­part will look at video starts over a 24-hour period, allow­ing mar­keters to com­pare pre­vi­ous days and/or date ranges.

These new reports will be avail­able for all Adobe Ana­lyt­ics cus­tomers who have enabled and con­fig­ured video reports within Adobe Ana­lyt­ics. These reports will be avail­able even as you work to reim­ple­ment our new heart­beat mea­sure­ment model.


One of our key goals mov­ing for­ward is to pro­vide a stan­dard­ized video imple­men­ta­tion across all our video cus­tomers. Sim­i­lar imple­men­ta­tions will pro­duce met­rics that are col­lected and reported in the same way. One way we are stan­dard­iz­ing imple­men­ta­tions is by intro­duc­ing solu­tion (reserved) vari­ables for both video and video ads. There will be seven vari­ables, for both con­tent and ads, avail­able for you to use instead of con­sum­ing any of your exist­ing cus­tom vari­ables. These vari­ables include starts, com­pletes, time spent, content/ad name, etc. Devel­op­ers and IT teams will no longer need to know any­thing about vari­ables or how to map them. One final note: while we are try­ing to stan­dard­ize imple­men­ta­tion and some core video met­rics, mar­keters will still have the flex­i­bil­ity to use as many vari­ables as they want to send as much video data and meta­data as desired into Adobe Ana­lyt­ics at the video and/or video ad start call.

As video con­tent and video view­ing behav­iors are chang­ing, Adobe is com­mit­ted to keep­ing up with those changes to allow you to bet­ter mea­sure and mon­e­tize your con­tent. This new video ana­lyt­ics release will help mar­keters do just that across mul­ti­ple devices.