MasterNewMedia
Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi
 


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Online Video Distribution And Analytics Service: TubeMogul Reviewed

Video upload services are already starting to multiply, and there are now plenty of ways to get your videos onto a number of hosting services without having to send the data to each one individually. A brand new service combines this feature with the ability to track the performance of your videos, and even those of your competitors.

tubemogul_header.jpg

If your goal is to get your videos seen by as many people as possible, rather than a handful of friends or family members, it makes sense to build a presence with multiple hosting services. While YouTube continues to be the most popular sharing destination, it certainly isn't the alpha and omega of video
sharing destinations
.

While there are now over 250 video sharing sites, there still remain a core that have a significant number of viewers. Services like Hey!Spread, previously reviewed here, and applications such as VideoPostRobot attempt to save you a lot of time by having you fill in all of the appropriate metadata for a video, upload it once, and then have it sent on to numerous video hosting websites automatically.

TubeMogul is another contender in this increasingly crowded market. However, the unique value proposition offered by this new service is that it also tracks the popularity of both your videos and those of your online competitors, without costing you a single cent.

Combining the capability to upload your video to nine different sharing services, with the ability to track and view stats for publishers, single videos, and custom-made groups TubeMogul provides a useful tool for those who take their online video publishing seriously.

Furthermore, as the tool is capable of tracking and comparing stats across publishing destinations and following any online publisher, this could also prove a very useful tool for marketers looking to target their advertising campaigns more effectively.

 

TubeMogul Overview

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TubeMogul is unique in offering this combination of uploading and analytics in so far as I can tell, and this makes it a valuable prospect for the would-be web video publisher.

The best news for myself and other web video publishers is that the service is totally free.

Even if you discount the ability to check out other publishers stats, being able to quickly get your content spread to the diverse audiences of nine video sharing services, and have accurate records of the performance of your videos is certainly a winning combination.

Given that the audiences of each service do vary to an extent, it should be interesting and potentially very useful to compare how your videos fare across the gamut.

The stars of Blip are very different to those of YouTube or Revver, and if nothing else TubeMogul could prove a useful way of working out which service - and audience - you should spend more of your time engaging with.

In the following video (7" 08) Mark, of TubeMogul, introduces the basic features of the service:



Video Service Coverage

While TubeMogul doesn't cover every video sharing site - and I think that this would be all but impossible in the current video sharing climate - it does feature a respectable nine, and covers the major players.

By uploading your video to TubeMogul, you can then send it on to the following services:

I'm particularly happy to see Blip and Brightcove featured, as one or the other is often (wrongly) overlooked.

A nice addition to the upload interface is the inclusion of pop-up windows explaining key facts about each video sharing service, broken down into a brief description, details of the core demographic, information about the registration process required, and a rating of the uploading process.

Here is an example, giving details about Yahoo! Video:

popup_service_info.jpg

Another useful addition missing from similar services is a category override feature for each individual sharing destination. While you will set a category when you upload your video, you may need to adjust it to fit the unusual taxonomies used by certain services. By being able to make use of a simple drop-down menu, you can quickly fix this so that your video ends up in the right place when it reaches its multiple destinations, ensuring that your potential audience has a better chance of finding your content.

multi-uploading-1.jpg



Uploading Your Video

Uploading is a relatively straightforward task, once you have gone through the tedium of signing up to multiple video sharing services, which obviously, and as with other such tools, isn't within TubeMogul default capabilities. Nevertheless, once you have signed up to the sharing services of your choice, you will still save a great deal of time by being able to bypass the process of repeat uploads in the future.

Initially, you fill out a simple form with the title of your video, adding tags and selecting a category. TubeMogul will display how your tags will appear in each service, and will attempt to apply your category selection to each upload, where possible. In the case of certain exceptions you will need to change any errant categories from their default setting in the next menu.

uploading_form.jpg

Then it's as easy as putting your username and password details into the next form for as many of the nine services as you'd like to make use of. This doesn't take more than a minute, especially if you use similar login details for each service.

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Thankfully, TubeMogul has included a feature whereby you can save your login details for later use, which means that you will only need to fill them out the first time you use the multi-uploading feature. This is another nice time saver, and comes in very useful.

store_later_use.jpg

In this second video (4" 10) Dave of TubeMogul discusses the video uploading process and capabilities:



Video Tracking - Overview

While the uploading feature is great, what sets TubeMogul apart from the competition is the ability to track both the videos you have uploaded through the service, and any others that you can find a URL for - i.e. pretty much anything published on the web.

Again, the set up is very simple. From your dashboard you have the option of adding a publisher, an individual video, or grouping your existing publishers and videos into collections of your own devising. In the case of the first two options you simply need to provide a URL and select the video service that the video or publisher is sourced from. TubeMogul will then bring in the requisite statistics for you to take a look at.

publisher_tracking_setup.jpg

Creating a group follows a similar pattern. Here you simply select any number of publishers or individual videos, gather them into a labeled group, and from there you will be able to compare your results using the analytical tools baked into TubeMogul.

create_a_group.jpg



Analyzing Performance

Once you have uploaded videos, or manually added videos, publishers and groups you'll be ready to check out your stats. Well, almost.

In actual fact you have to wait a day or so for new publishers or videos to make their way into the TubeMogul system, which is a bit of a drag. However, in their defense the TubeMogul team have included an email notification option so that you can be informed when your stats are ready to view.

When they do finally arrive you have quite a few options available to you for analyzing the performance of your videos. The focal point of the analytics page is an interactive chart, which you can roll your cursor over to reveal details for any particular date.

graph_example.jpg

This provides a great way to get an at-a-glance overview of the performance of your videos within a given time-frame. There are plenty of ways to slice and dice the data, also, so that you can view your stats by:

  • Viewership
  • Comments
  • User ratings
  • and cumulative views

In this sense, it is possible to work out not only which of your videos are the flavor of the month, which are generating the most feedback, and which may be turning out to be what Hollywood would call "sleeper hits", those titles that steadily build an audience over a longer period of time.

graph_settings.jpg

As you would expect you can also choose which time frame to view stats for, by day, week or month. Being able to enter an exact date range is good news for those looking to follow a campaign or the success of a particular video over shorter or longer periods of time.

There is also a set of tools directly beneath the chart, which give you some further options. From here you can:

  • Export your results as an MS Excel file
  • Send them to yourself or someone else - perhaps a sponsor - by email
  • Embed your graph into your blog or website using a simple piece of code, like that supplied by YouTube
  • Schedule daily or weekly reports to be sent out for any or all of the publishers you are currently tracking

graph_tools.jpg

Finally, if graphs aren't your thing and you'd rather see some cold hard stats TubeMogul supplies you with both an overview and a list of your top ten videos, along with vital statistics.

The overview lets you check in on your total views, comments, average rating and other key points:

stats_overview.jpg

The "top ten" provides you a quick and easy way to see which of your videos are performing best for you, how many times they have been viewed, and the percentile of your total views that each video makes up.

Stats aside you have the ability to click on thumbnails of your videos, which are lined up in a sidebar. This gives you the chance to view the performance of each video in the main chart, and the thumbnails can be sorted by both date and popularity. This makes it very easy to find the content you are looking for even if you have built up a considerable library of content.



Why Use It?

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TubeMogul is a very useful tool on a number of levels.

For one, video publishers will now be able to get a very good idea of the performance of their videos across several publishing outlets, which is the type of information well worth having.

Being able to see, at a glance, which videos were most viewed, or most commented on, and which days of the week or month proved the best time to publish can have a great impact on your publishing strategy. The potential is there to shape the type of content and the time it is published to optimize your chances of success in future.

Furthermore, as the options for monetizing web video content grow, having access to your video stats is going to be an increasingly important factor if you are publishing with any regularity. Advertisers are still very much tied into the old media, impression-based model of quantifying the worth of a media asset. If you can present potential advertisers with statistics for your videos, you are much more likely to succeed in securing sponsorship, should you wish to.

Finally for both publishers and advertisers, being able to compare any publisher against their competition, across a range of nine video sharing services, and across a number of timescales will be a vital asset in measuring the success of a campaign or the overall performance of a series or channel.



Limitations

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While there will likely be people that complain about the video services not included by TubeMogul, I would say that for the most part it manages to cover the major players. There are some omissions, but in a marketplace this large, that is bound to be the case.

For me, the greatest limitation to date with TubeMogul is the fact that the vast majority of information it will pull in for you takes a minimum of a day to arrive, at least in the first instance. In an age in which web applications increasingly operate in real-time this wait feels like a major inconvenience. When I go to a stats service, I want to see stats, so being told that I have to wait for them to be gathered, and to come back after a day or two doesn't wash so well.

For the time being TubeMogul is the only service offering this comparative analytics tool for web video, which will be enough to bring people back after an unsatisfying first experience.

Nevertheless, if another provider comes along that can show users what they want to see right away, the temptation to quickly switch over might be hard to resist.

I fully appreciate, however, that there are a lot of videos out there, and a lot of stats to be gathered. Other, less patient people might not be so forgiving, however.



Review Summary

TubeMogul manages to successfully combine a multi-service video uploading tool with some powerful analytics software. The combination is a very welcome one, and will appeal to both regular video publishers on the web, those looking to get the best out of a viral video marketing campaign, and also to advertisers looking to compare the performance of potential clients.

Using just one video, uploaded to TubeMogul, you can publish it to nine of the major video publishing platforms, including all of the usual suspects, such as YouTube, along with rising stars like Brightcove and Daily Motion. If you are hoping to get as big an audience as possible, this is a priceless tool in and of itself.

However by combining this with solid tracking TubeMogul have provided a service that will be of great use to anyone that wants to log and analyze the performance of their individual videos, and entire series or collections.

Beyond the obvious egotistical appeal that this presents, it is also an excellent resource for independent video publishers looking to attract sponsorship and advertising. If you manage to get significant viewing figures, and can present those to potential advertisers you stand a much better chance of inking a deal. TubeMogul makes it easy to both increase those figures by uploading to multiple services and providing you with useful evidence for your success.

In that sense I would say that TubeMogul is an essential tool for web video producers, and given that the service is totally free to use - something I couldn't quite believe at first - there is really no reason not to put it to use.



Additional Resources

If you would like to read more about TubeMogul, you might want to check out the following links:




Originally written by Michael Pick for Master New Media and titled "Online Video Distribution And Analytics Service: TubeMogul Reviewed"

 
 
 
Readers' Comments    
2008-03-03 17:49:35

Lasse Rouhiainen

Hi Mark,

Its very difficult to find better reviews of new web 2.0 sites than the ones Robin writes. I also enjoy them a lot.

One thing I would add is that now tubemogul has included viddler to the sites it discributes videos, and that is great thing.

Thanks for the article

Lasse



2007-10-16 09:58:14

Mark Rotblat

This is the most thorough review I've seen of TubeMogul - including anything we've put together! Thank you for the featured article and taking the time to explain all the details, Robin!
Best regards,
Mark Rotblat
Director of Marketing
TubeMogul



 
posted by Michael Pick on Tuesday, October 16 2007, updated on Friday, February 26 2010


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