The World Needs Standardized Ratings for Video. Stat.

Thanks to Nielsen, I (and everyone else for that matter) know how well or how poorly a TV show performed each week. Nielsen Ratings are well woven into the fabric of American TV culture. Our favorite shows live and die by these numbers. Advertisers pay for ad space based on these numbers. And so forth.

I believe that video is in dire need of a similar ratings system.

To make my case let’s forget about two things for a sec:

  1. Forget #social media. They are closed ecosystems which serve as one part social networking platform and one part ad exchange.
  2. Forget video ads. Their value is easily reconciled based on viewability, in the same way as old school television.

I’m talking about the actual content.

I’m talking about the hundreds of millions of videos, watched by tens of millions of people everyday, produced and distributed by publishers, news outlets, brands, bloggers, and OTTs.

The world is moving into an era of native advertising — the product placement of the 21st century. There was a great article in The Huffington Post, by Eli Schwartz which details six companies that are setting the benchmark in that arena.

In addition, brands are now producers, all striving to become the content hubs of their respective industries or categories.

Video is the most efficient and effective means of communicating an idea to an audience. According to Forrester Research’s Dr. James McQuivey, “a minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.”

So how do publishers — in the broadest sense of the term — place a value on their content?

That’s where a ratings system comes into play. The video content I’m referring to can’t be measured in the same way as video ads. Mere viewability won’t cut it. Publishers need to understand if their content is actually being seen, heard and engaged with for a meaningful amount of time (set based on the actual content itself). At Limbik, we sum that up by asking if the content has been paid attention to.

Once a brand knows if their video content is being paid attention to they can assign an appropriate value to that content.

Zach and I created Limbik because we wanted to figure out a way to properly measure people’s attention when it comes to video content. If you use our platform you can do exactly that. Knowing if people paid attention to your content will not only help inform what you produce next, it will help you understand how much your material is actually worth.

It is a long, long overdue standardized rating for video.