- After Facebook told advertisers several weeks ago it has been overlooking video views of less than three seconds in its measurement of time spent for the past two years, several agencies began investigating further, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
- Publicis Media found that the average time spent watching videos was overestimated by between 60% and 80%, suggesting a number of marketers may be making decisions about where to invest their video budgets based on faulty data.
- Facebook claims billing was not impacted and a new metric has been introduced to rectify the problem.
Thanks to breakneck growth over the past few years, video has become a significant category in digital marketing. As viewing increasingly migrates to mobile phones, tablets and PCs, marketers known for dropping millions of dollars on TV advertising, are shifting their spend to digital channels.
For Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, a lot of money is at stake if they can convince marketers that consumers are watching video on their platforms. The latest news of Facebook overestimating time spent on video comes as a big blow for the company, which has been touting its video success and is in a race with other platforms to command attention as viewers migrate away from TV.
While Facebook is a juggernaut in digital marketing, the landscape is still evolving. The platform finding itself with egg on its face over video metrics is a potential warning sign that it may have pushed too hard for growth, overlooking key building blocks along the way.
The average time spent viewing video is an important metric for marketers as the longer consumers watch a video, the more likely they are to feel connected to the content and remember a brand the next time they are shopping.
Facebook now seems to have measurement in its crosshairs. This week, it introduced a series of new products and integrations intended to paint a clearer picture of ad effectiveness. A new video metric that addresses the previous miscalculation was introduced several weeks ago.
The report comes at a time when relationships in the digital marketing industry are already under strain, with a number of brands auditing agencies’ business practices in light of a report suggesting billing issues, also reported by the Journal. Digital platforms may have hoped to strengthen their direct relationships with brands in light of these developments, but the news about Facebook’s measurement discrepancies suggests that gaining the confidence of brands could be a hard road to travel.