How IRIS.TV Helped The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard Raise Their Video IQ

By Evan DeSimone

The proliferation of video content across the web has been good news for content creators and publishers, but the ubiquity of content has created problems of its own. Chief among these is falling completion rates as viewers with ever shorter attention spans click away lured by the possibility of more relevant content. That’s a problem that IRIS.TV aims to solve by taking auto play, a feature that many in the industry had written off, and using their Adaptive Stream™ technology to make it smart.

Founded in 2012, IRIS.TV’s Adaptive Stream™ promises to use accumulated data as well as direct user inputs and behavior influencing tactics to keep viewers engaged in a curated stream of recommended video content. .It’s a big claim to make, but based on a recent study of IRIS’s partnership with Prometheus Global Media properties Billboard.com and The Hollywood Reporter, it appears to be working.

IRIS.TV has released a case study that details its work for Prometheus to demonstrate how effective its process can be, particularly for two established publications with a deep catalog of video content already in place. The Hollywood Reporter, for example, enjoys a substantial library of video content including in-depth interviews with stars and creatives as well as its famous roundtable discussions featuring the year’s most notable actors, directors and writers discussing their craft. Even working with well-known content that enjoys significant name recognition, IRIS.TV was able to increase views by 68% and reduce bounce rates by 44%. That increased viewer retention produced 50% uptick in video views per individual session.

IRIS.TV provided similar results for Prometheus’ music industry outlet Billboard.com. While it substantially grew video views and retention using Adaptive Stream™, IRIS.TV also provided guidance on content and video placement. For example, it encouraged the publication to pair its original video content with its famed and widely-followed weekly music charts, which provided a boon in views for both pieces of content.

IRIS.TV Co-Founder and COO Richie Hyden

Hyden

Content consumption varies on a daily basis,” IRIS.TV founder and COO Richie Hyden told VideoInk. “We not only look at video views by device but which videos have high completion rates, what category they fall into, their length, etc. That enables us to understand not only what content is clicked frequently but also what content performs well when it is recommended to certain types of users,” allowing IRIS.TV to create a profile of each platforms viewership and recommend content options to fit that profile.

While data is at the heart of what IRIS.TV does for its clients, the company looks at each project holistically. To that end, it also accounts for user behavior, allowing viewers to give direct feedback on what they’re watching in order to better guide selections. Upcoming recommended videos are also previewed in an “up next” feature, to build anticipation and keep users in the stream longer.

“By trying different user experiences, we have found that different front-end experiences work well for different audiences.” Hyden said ”The Adaptive Stream™ system will always connect the right piece of content with the right user within the guidelines given by the publisher. Other than that, it’s up to what we see in the data to determine what is and isn’t working.”