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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Lies, Damn Lies, and Online Video

Posted by Jim Louderback

Tubemogul Study Finds Fraud In Online Video Getting Worse, Not Better

Read the full post:

Tubemogul Report

Online Video View Fraud, Paid Views and What to Make of It

Jim Louderback is a vocal critic of the current state of ‘views’ in online video.



  1. Autoplay is not the issue here. That can be useful. But when you count an autoplay start as a view then that is absurd. If a video is viewed at say 75 percent of the total length then that could probably be considered a legitimate view, irregardless if it was an autoplay or manually played.

    It is time for the media to require full analytic disclosure if they are going to print view numbers. Just taking numbers from a press release as has been done in the past is irresponsible. Likewise using start numbers is totally meaningless especially if generated by an autoplay even if such start numbers can be validated by an independent source.

    The problem we have is one of conflict of interest. The media is often afraid to tell the truth because they risk alienating their advertisers. It is time for them to step up and do the right thing.

  2. So, can we now assume that Tubefilter is now going to ask Sony/Crackle and all the other portal sites to provide us all with real numbers? Clearly no one believes autoplay numbers so who is going to come forward with the real deal? The problem here is that we are dealing with companies that are under no obligation to provide the public with meaningful analytics. So, how are you going to get such numbers?

    One easy check is to do a survey of 1000 (or preferably more) random people and ask them if they have watched a particular web series. If say a portal site claims something like 10+ million views in the USA that leads to a predictable statistical test. Based on that you can determine if the portal sites numbers are in fact meaningful or a "fraud" and include such results along with the press release numbers. Under those conditions one would hope that the portals would be under some pressure to provide valid and meaningful data.

  3. Not surprisingly Tilsner, (formerly of Tubefilter,) stated that NO, we don't need disclosure from Crackle. Then again, why would tubefilter call Crackle out for any cheating? They sponsor them...

    Then again, if Tubefilter mattered post Streamyfail, their "stance" may mean something...

  4. First I said a random sample of 1000 (or preferably more). If Jamison Tilsner cares to check with a statistician he will probably find out that under the parameters explained this would be close to sufficient to demonstrate if the 10 million view count was real or a fabricated illusion probably based on corporate hype and front based autoplays that have absolutely no relationship to real view counts. Just do the math Mr. Tilsener!

    Since Sony (and others) have made such claims and since they are testable with even a relatively small sample size then why not verify their claims. If Mr Tilsner wants to argue the statistical validity of the assertion he is going to have to do much better than that. If we failed to test the data thrown out by companies like Sony in press reports then we deserve what we get when advertisers are disappointed by the real reach of web series that have claimed respectable view counts and such view counts were just accepted by media sources such as Tubefilter.

    What I did here was propose a relatively simple mechanism for testing claims. It is not new, but it is effective and it would put everyone behind a press release on notice that their data may be put to a statistical test to see if it is a reasonable claim or not.


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