IRIS Insights: Maximizing Video Revenue from Known Viral Events

by | Feb 4, 2016 | Video Programming Insights

IRIS.TV enabled publishers that adopted these best practices saw their video ad revenue double during awards season.

When it comes to video virality, as a publisher, there is much that is out of your control. Timing and Context can be everything. But there are certain events that you know are breeding grounds for that viral moment. While there will always be an element of luck, there are best practices that can be employed to ensure that video publishers are always prepared to maximize the value of high traffic, viral events.

Awards shows are great examples of a known viral events. With the Grammys and Oscars approaching, publishers will be streaming their own coverage or syndicating video. From Patricia Arquette’s Oscar’s acceptance speech to Common and John Legend performing ‘Glory,’ digital video has the ability to extend the life of these special moments.

In the rush to post “first,” publisher’s often make common mistakes that result in lost revenue and frustrated users.

So how do you ensure that you capture all the value from a known viral event?

Start with the Metadata

Whether you win or lose from a known viral event has as much or more to do with the video asset’s impact down-stream than in the moment. The lifeblood of content discovery is metadata. If you manually curate playlists, utilize a content recommendation system, or syndicate your content, metadata matters. Even the most basic metadata structure can ensure that existing and future programming systems will be able to find your content and surface them in the appropriate context. This will result in decreased bounce rates, increased views per session, and increased engagement.

CASE 1: In the Moment

During the event, minimizing the number of clicks it takes for users to access video will result in increased value

Once a user has been driven to your site organically or by a social post, you need to engage the user by making discovery and wayfaring as seamless as possible.

If a user needs to click ten times to watch ten videos, there is a high chance the user will bounce. If the viewing experience can be extended within the video environment, then the user can watch several videos programmed on a variety of parameters. The better the metadata structure, the better content recommendation systems can program video entry-points across your digital properties.

CASE 2: Downstream Value Capture

“Evergreening” Dated Content

Videos of Musicians and Movie Stars that appear on the Grammys and Oscars are not just relevant in that context but in a wider halo of relevancy. i.e. gossip, movie premieres, album releases, concerts, festivals, birthdays etc. A video from 2015 can definitely be consumed at scale in 2016 and beyond if surfaced in the appropriate context.

Putting in Together: Metadata Mindfulness

Consistency over Quantity

It’s not about how much metadata, but rather how it’s structured. In fact, having an overabundance of keywords/tags to describe a video can have adverse effects. Below is an example of the minimum effective amount of metadata. As a publisher, you can certainly add more keywords or tags, but this is an example of the importance of structure. This lean, but consistent structure was easily repeatable by editors and video managers.


In both cases, the two like-terms give you the chance to leverage the assets with content recommendation systems or algorithmic programming. Even if you are not working with such systems today, you are future-proofing success down the road. The below performance from 2015 came from adopting the metadata structures similar to the above examples.


In February 2015, publishers utilizing the IRIS.TV Video Programming Platform were not only able to take advantage of spikes in viewing during the event, but also in subsequent days. The purple lines are the initial clicked views and the blue lines are the total views. The area between is the Video Lift generated by IRIS.TV’s personalization engine Adaptive Stream™.


Last year, for the Grammys and Oscars, publishers using the IRIS.TV Video Programming Platform broke their view count and revenue records by:

  • Total Views: 2x Video Views
  • More Revenue: 2x Pre-Roll Ad Revenue (One-to-One ad frequency)

By continuing to incorporate metadata best practices, they are projected to break those records again.

Contact your Account Executive to learn more.

If you do not have the IRIS.TV Video Programming Platform, contact us about a trial.


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