February 27, 2011 ↘︎

Lights, camera, action…video measurement

Many of us use video on our sites these days for different communication reasons.  And those videos generally take a fair amount of effort (and cost) to put together.  Understanding video engagement is therefore quite important to know which videos are most engaging, which ones lead to most conversions and so on.

To date, we have generally used YouTube for our videos.  But the problem is that we only get the basic information from YouTube, we aren’t able to see more insightful information.

There’s a number of ways of integrate video measurement data into SiteCatalyst, either by embedding the code into your own video player and then hosting the video on your site, or by using a third party source.

Personally I believe the third party source is better for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the video is streamed from their content delivery network.  You also don’t need to worry about your flash skills…mine are atrocious.


brightcoveI was pleasantly surprised at how it easy it was to use Brightcove for video serving and integrating into Omniture.  Not only that, but they are customer-focused.  Their reps emailed and called me shortly after signing up for a trial, send me some useful information and worked with me to get it all working.  They even solved a minor problem I had (all pre-purchase stuff).

While Brightcove has an excellent analytics section on videos available to you, the benefits of integrating the data with your existing SiteCatalyst data are obvious – you can see views, paths, conversions and so forth, and you can classify the videos just like you can for your campaigns or products.

Integrate and measure

There are only really 10 steps involved:

  1. video_menuFrom your Omniture Reporting Suite admin, download the AppMeasurementExtension.swf file.
  2. Edit your report suite settings to enable video measurement (basically tick the boxes).
  3. Create a config file.
  4. Host the AppMeasurementExtension.swf file and the config file on your server.
  5. Update your crossdomain.xml file to allow brightcove.com.
  6. Upload your video to Brightcove.
  7. Add a setting for your AppMeasurementExtension to be called.
  8. Attach the video to a player and generate the website code.
  9. Add the code to your website.
  10. Play the video through your site and you’re done.

How easy could that be.  No flash programming.  No fuss.

What you get are a whole suite of extra reports all dedicated to your videos.


We set ours to report every 10 seconds to see if it was still being viewed.  The results are shown above for our test data.  As you can see, there is a drop off of people abandoning the video as it plays.  But, there looks to be an interesting segment between 35 and 55 seconds that some people are viewing more than once.


The other nice thing is that you can get all of your other conversion variables in the video reports.  Here’ we’re showing some of the basic video measure, but also how many pages were viewed by someone who watched videos as well as the number products (courses) viewed.


In the above report, I’ve broken down the video report by products (courses) to see the actual courses that were viewed by people who also viewed the video.

So, to the nitty gritty

There’s only really one bit of code that you need to create…the config file, which is a simple XML file, located somewhere on your servers.  This file looks like:

<pagename>Brightcove Test</pagename>

When you’ve uploaded your video to Brightcove, you edit the player to include a custom plugin – which is the AppMeasurementExtension.swf.

The plugin needs to know where the App Extension and config file is.  Ours is:


Note that the above is all on one line, not two.

That’s pretty much all there is to it.

Couldn’t be much easier to integrate video measurement from Brightcove into Omniture SiteCatalyst!

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