Independent online video production is flourishing, helped along by investments from major players like YouTube, Yahoo, AOL and others, and the enthusiasm of thousands of mom and pop creators looking to carve out a valuable niche audience. But unlike the pay-TV business, where content is supported by advertising and distributor fees, virtually all online video relies solely on advertising. Independents face the acute challenge of conveying the value of their content and audiences to media buyers who are increasingly overwhelmed by the choices in front of them.
To address this problem, this morning Outrigger Media is announcing the beta launch of OpenSlate, a marketplace for online video that uses a proprietary "SlateScore" to consistently measure the value of over 10,000 different video productions. SlateScore measures a video's reach, engagement, influence and consistency - attributes that buyers look for when assessing "premium content" - by ingesting and analyzing thousands of data points about the videos' viewer behavior.
The overall SlateScore is presented on a scale of 1-1,000, with other individual scores for each of the above attributes. The creator's SlateScore is also presented in context with others in its category for a relative value. Other data points like the creator's publishing history, audience demographics, performance over a 3 month range and various social statistics are also presented (here's an example of a SlateScore for CollegeHumor).
With the data, creators have a better sense of their value to media buyers, and conversely, media buyers have a better sense of where they might want to direct their ad dollars. If you recall the concept of the "Long Tail," OpenSlate is essentially helping accelerate the value of long tail video producers to advertisers who are prone to concentrate their spending safely at the "head" or with TV programs available online.
There are numerous efforts underway to measure the reach and value of burgeoning online video audiences. As a new currency, ultimately OpenSlate's own value will be determined by how well it serves its creator and buyer communities. Obviously it's still very early, but I think OpenSlate is an intriguing tool that is going to gain a lot of attention.
Note: Below is Outrigger Media's chief media evangelist Paul Kontonis presenting on OpenSlate at the VideoNuze 2012 Online Video Ad Summit last month. His slides are also available for download.