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May 23, 2008

STATS: What's A Web Video "View"? Whatever A Video Site Says A "View" Is

What's A Web Video "View"? Whatever A Video Site Says A "View" Is

dogvideo.jpegAh, the joys of Web metrics -- where you can't compare apples to apples, because each orchard counts its fruit differently.

This is a problem that's as old as the Internet, but has gotten hammered out to some degree for traditional Web publishers. Not so for the brave new world of Web video, where pretty much anything goes.

Which means that when YouTube, Crackle, or DailyMotion tell advertisers how well their sites perform, they're all talking about different things. Some video sites, like AOL and Stupidvideos, count a "view" every time a video is launched, meaning that someone watching a dog on a skateboard over and over is counted each time. Others, like Metacafe and blip.tv, only count one view per IP address.

The differences don't stop there. Some sites log a view immediately after a video is launched; others only count a view if a video has been watched for a certain amount of time...

Ed: Lots of over counting with video, advertising, and UU (unique users).

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