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19 May 2022

Conviva cracks measurement “standard” – now for the hard part

QoE video analytics vendor Conviva has made the strange decision to pre-announce a product launch, not just a few weeks ahead of time to gauge market reaction, but more than half a year in advance – slated for CES 2023.

Conviva is teasing a new streaming audience measurement “standard,” with direct contributions from a crop of its existing OTT video content customer base. It promises to bring census-level streaming audience ad packaging and measurement that is complementary to linear TV.

A lot of people have spoken about bringing to market a so-called “standardized” approach to video analytics, which tastes great but lacks filling. No actual standards bodies are involved, as far as we know, although this is more about standardizing the underlying data in order to move closer towards the elusive goal in any realm of analytics – to find a common cross-platform data language.

This isn’t a totally new frontier for Conviva. It has been partnering with audience measurement firms and even describing itself as a measurement analytics outfit, rather than a QoE video analytics supplier, for a while. About six months ago, for example, Conviva combined its first-party streaming data with demographic data from Experian to deliver insights including audience content preferences, viewer behavior patterns, and ad exposures for advertisers.

From a technical standpoint, Conviva claims to have solved the problem of streaming audiences continuously with census-level standardized data. The next step is to work with the industry to provide a unified system for streaming, ad packaging, and measurement that is interoperable with any cross-platform currency.

In other words, the technical part was easy. Getting the industry to rally around a common system is not quite so simple. This will take months of bullish marketing and extensive trials – hence why CES 2023 has been earmarked for the official unveiling, where some of the world’s largest premium streaming providers will be active, some of which are direct contributors to this forthcoming new audience measurement standard.

Just to be clear, Conviva has not transformed overnight into an outright audience measurement firm of the Nielsen or Comscore variety, but works together with these thoroughbred audience data platforms to support cross-platform measurement.

But by the same token, Conviva is clearly looking at the market opportunistically, identifying demand for accurate standardized data across streaming and linear, with lessons learned from Nielsen’s inherent measurement mishaps.

Standardizing ways of working can create huge time and costs savings for businesses, yet the counterargument is that standards thwart innovation.

The fact Conviva is using the world’s largest consumer electronics show as an excuse to showcase its latest technological innovations – at an event many video industry professionals, decisionmakers and investors won’t touch with a barge pole – is probably all you need to know about the market’s second-placed video analytics company.

Excluding Google Analytics, which is not a true toolbox for video analytics but a basic platform for tracking traffic and SEO, Conviva is the frontrunner in this marketplace, and has been for some time.

However, while demand for video analytics, generally speaking, is through the roof, we are also seeing the space approach saturation, as vendors nibble at Conviva’s heels and commoditize rudimentary video analytics tools.

According to Bitmovin’s Video Developer Report from last year, Google Analytics is the overwhelming market favorite, used by 51% of respondents for video analytics tools, while Conviva trails in second place with a 16% share, followed by Bitmovin Analytics 13%, NPAW 11%, Mux 6%, and MediaMelon 3%.

With Conviva sensing the need for diversification, personalized customer care experiences is another relatively new sandbox the company is playing in, one which many rivals wouldn’t even think of jumping into.

Here, Conviva has teamed with IT asset management platform ServiceNow, integrated with its streaming insights data to drive user acquisition, reduce opex and boost customer lifetime value. Sports streamer DAZN is a major customer of this joint offering, in addition to taking the Conviva Insights platform for all OTT video intelligence needs.

We have highlighted in the past how Conviva has an enviable (and irritating for the competition) knack of being able to its sell analytics tools to other parts of the video delivery chain – with audience measurement the latest space in its sights.