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Monday, May 23, 2011

What is a view?


It appears from the tweet above that the IAWTV Standards Committee is having a discussion with the organization membership about the controversial issue of view counts. Over the past couple of years we have seen some very heated discussions about how video views should be counted. Technically we should be talking about "video plays" since the mere sight of a video could technically be considered a "view" going by the description of the word on Wikipedia. That aside, what is considered a view has a fundamental role in the ability to sell adds against a video property.

See discussions: Lies, Damn Lies, and Online Video


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


Paid Distribution Becomes a Mainstay of Web Series


So, what is a view? Most rational people would consider a view to be the absorption of some tangible meaning from the content of the video. We do not know the exact number but Youtube appears to consider a view something between 30 and 50 percent of the video. While this means the viewer has not absorbed the entire content it is reasonable to expect that they have more than a passing interest in the video and have watched enough to grasp at least some of its meaning. Of course every video creator hopes the viewer will watch their video to the end but that does not always happen for a number of reasons so the Youtube approximation seems fair.

On the other hand some consider a view to be when the video starts to play. Seems a little absurd right? So why do that. Well it creates a higher view count that can be used to sell the project to advertisers. Don't worry about the deception, they say. We will get funding for your web series, they claim in order to get others to buy into this crazy scam. This definition is further complicated by the presence of prerolls, autoplays and so called "paid views" whose primary purpose is to get the viewer to watch the preroll advertizment without any concern as to whether they watch or enjoy the actual content being promoted.

So the question is: where will the IAWTV come down on this issue. Well they appear to have a Standards Committee working on the issue but to date they have not solicited any public feedback so we can only guess. Most IAWTV discussions take place on a private discussion board so we can only hope that the discussion there has been fair, balanced and reasonable and truly reflects a meaning to the word view that has some authentic meaning to the general public who is doing the viewing.

UPDATE: Reaction from paul kontonis of the IAWTV

@modelmotion our public is the #IAWTV membership and that is who this organizations serves

@modelmotion standards committee engages with industry, membership, reps from key stakeholders in the most responsible way possible #iawtv

@modelmotion @iawtv represents producers, viewers, creators, distributors, platforms and more, i am proud of our organization & it's work

1 comment:

  1. Interesting how the IAWTV claims to represent viewers and yet they do not have a public comment period as part of their standards development.


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