3 Ways Video Recommendation Drives Video Lifetime Value

Video recommendation and discovery are very hot topics across video publishers looking to drive higher returns on their video lifetime value. Attracting a consumer to watch more videos isn’t simple in this attention deficit society we live. Gone in 90 Seconds according to Netflix. Your audience is one swipe away from being on another experience. Fluid media shifting is just life. However, video publishers are finding ways to keep consumers engaged using higher video intelligence. Want to make an impact in your consumer experience? Then make it simple to discover and surface relevant video content they find interesting. In this post we’ll explore the intelligence behind visual recommendation and what’s being leveraged to increase video lifetime value. VIDEO: Chase McMichael gives talk at Intel on how to process massive amounts of video on a budget and why visual computing attracts more attention to video.

Don’t be fooled

Google Video Intelligence Demo At Google Next 17

Google Video Intelligence API demo of video search finding baseball clips within video segments.

Enough with the buzz words around Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Deep Learning. What problem are you solving?  Is there a learning system and automated method to create a better solution? Last year we posted on Search Engine Journal How Deep Learning Powers Video SEO describing the advantages of video image labeling. Since then, Google announced at Next17 a full video annotation platform call Video Intelligence . (InfiniGraph was honored to be selected as a Google Video Intelligence Beta Tester) Beyond Google having a huge cloud systems running on chips design for deep learning (TPU) to pull this, this massive video processing capability comes with a cost. We’re still in the very early days of video analysis. The MAJOR challenge with Google cloud offering is pushing all your video over to Google Cloud and 2nd is letting your DATA be used as part of their training set. This is very problematic on many levels due to content rights and Google becoming smarter on your video than you are. How do you achieve similar results without all this overhead?

Not all data is created equal

Trending Content - Lacks Image Based Video Machine Learning

Trending Content is based on popularity vs content context and the consumer content consumption.

All video publishers have the standard meta data attached to their videos when loading a video in their CMS.  Behavior tracking is very powerful if you have the consumers consent. Many consumers don’t want to be tracked, if they are not logged into your property. Complicating matters, there are communal devices in many homes. As for the mobile device, (iPhone etc.) this is VERY PERSONAL and tracking is possible BUT Apple and Google have taken steps to block 3rd parties tracking. Single party tracking will be in place, however; a standard has yet to be fully adopted. Gone are the good old day of “dropping a cookie”. Creating a truly personalized experience is ideal, however; depends on the consumer authorizing and receiving value for giving up their privacy. OTT apps provides the best path to robust personalization. We have learned a great deal from innovative companies like: Netflix, HULU, YouTube and Amazon who have all come a long way in their approach to advanced video discovery.  So how do you leverage these innovations on a budget?

See how “Netflix knows it has just 90 seconds to convince the user it has something for them to watch before they abandon the service and move on to something else”.

Video recommendation platforms

Video Recommendation Mantis Powers by KRAKEN Video Machine Learning

Image based video recommendation “MANTIS”. Going beyond simple meta data and trending content to full intelligent context. Powered by KRAKEN.

Not all video recommendation platforms are created equal. The main challenge is every mouse trap is virtually using the same META data and behavior tracking does not create meaningful discovery to new content. The heavy reliance on what people have played hence popular video must be what everyone wants to watch. Right? Popularity is not a barometer of relevance and vast majority of you’re video content isn’t seen by the majority of your audience. Hence good video content that lacks engagement will not be surfaced at all. This is your most expensive content like what’s the most expensive table in a restaurant? The empty table.

Video Machine Learning, Going beyond meta data is key to a better consumer experience. Trending only goes so far. Visual recommendation looks at all the content based on consumer actions.

Going beyond meta data is key to a better consumer experience. Trending only goes so far. Visual recommendation looks at all the content based on consumer actions.

To exacerbate the problem, trending videos are a self fulfilling prophecy because trending is being artificially amplified and doesn’t indicate relevance. Surfacing the right video at the right time can make all the difference in people staying or going.  What videos got play, time on video and completion indicates watchablity and captured interest. There is so much more to a videos than raw insights. Did someone watch a video is important but understanding the why in context of other like videos with similar content is intelligence. YouTube has been recommending videos for a long time but until recently started leveraging AI to build intelligent personalized video play lists. So has Netflix, HULU and Amazon to some extent. There are a few 3rd party platforms in the space when it comes to video recommendation. However, very few have tapped into visual insights to achieve higher intelligence. Companies like Iris.tv being an early entry in video recommendation and latter like Prizma and BABATOR all have unique Meta data tracking algorithms designed to entice more people to stay longer mostly on desktop auto play video. Now with the Viewablity demand increase and requirement to verify viewablity more advance methods of assuring people are watching the content is required. Hence, a new thinking on video recommendation was mandated.

An Intelligent Visual Approach

A definitive differentiation is using the images and video segments within the video to build relevance. Consumer know what they like when they see it. Understand this visual ignition process was key to unlocking the potential of visual recommendation.  A visual psychographic map now can be created based on video consumption. How do you really know what people would like to play if you really don’t know much about the video content? Understanding the video content and context is the next stage in intelligent video recommendation and personalized discovery. Dissecting the video content and context now opens up a new DATA set that was other wise trapped behind a play button.

3 Ways Visual Video Recommendation Drives Video Lifetime Value

1. Visual recommendation – Visual information within video creates higher visual affinity to amplify discovery. Content likeness beyond just meta data opens up more video content to select from. Mapping what people watch is based on past observation, predicting what people will watch requires understand video context.

2.  Video scoring – A much deeper approach to video had to be invented where the video is scored based on visual attribution inside the video and human behavior on those visuals. This scoring lets the content SPEAK FOR ITSELF and enables ordering play list relative to what was watched.

3. Personalized selection - Enhancing discover requires getter intelligence and context to what content is being consumed. Depending on the video publishers environment like OTT or a mobile app can enable high levels of personalization. For consumers using the web a more general approach and clustering consumers into content preferences powers better results while honoring privacy.

The Future is Amazing for Video Discovery

Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple are going head to head with deep video analysis in the cloud. Large scale video publishers have a grand opportunity to embrace this new technology wave and be relevant while creating a visually inducive consumer experience.  Video annotation has a very bright future using a technology called Deep Learning. We have come a very long way from just doing single image labeling via ImageNet. A major challenge going forward is the speed of change video publishers must adapt if they wish to stay competitive. With advanced  technologies designed for video publishers there is hope. Take advantage of this movement and increase your video lifetime value.

Top image from post melding real life with recommendations.

How To Increase Video Lifetime Value via Machine Learning

Videos Found For You Recommendation KRAKEN Video Machine Learning Deep Learning

Video discovery is one of the best ways to increase video lifetime value. Learning what video content is relevant increases greater time on site.

All video publishers are looking to increase their video’s lifetime value. Creating video can be expensive and the shelf life of most video is short. Maximizing those videos assets and their lifetime value is a top priority. With the advent of new technologies such as Video Machine Learning, publishers can now increase their video’s lifetime value by intelligently generating more time on site. Identifying the best image to lead with (thumbnail) and recommending relevant videos drive higher lifetime value through user experience and discovery.

Reeses two great tasts put togehter Video Machine Learning Deep Learning Artificial IntelligenceThis combination of visual identification and recommendation is like the Reese’s of video. By linking technologies like artificial intelligence and real-time video analytics, we’re changing the video game through automated actionable intelligence.

Ryan Shane, our VP of Sales, describes the advantages of knowing what visual (video thumbnail) (context) produces the most engagement and what video business models benefit the most from video machine learning.

Hear from our CEO, Chase McMichael, who talks about the advanced use of machine learning and deep learning to improve video take rates by finding and recommending the right images consumers engage with the most.

Here are two examples of how video machine learning increases revenue on your existing video assets.

Yield Example #1: Pre-roll

If you run pre-roll on your video content, you likely fill it with a combination of direct sales and an RTB network. For this example, assume you have a 10% CTR, which translates to 1 million video plays each day. That means that you are showing 1,000,000 pre-roll ads each day. Now assume that you run KRAKEN on your videos, and engagement jumps to by 30% to a 12% CTR. That means that you will be showing 1,300,000 pre-roll ads each day. KRAKEN has effectively added an additional 300,000 pre-roll spots for you to fill! This is an example of increasing the video value on your existing consumers.

Yield Example #2: Premium Content

For our second example, assume you monetize with premium content. You have an advertising client who has given you a budget of $100,000 and expects their video to be shown 5 million times. With your current play rates, you determine it will take four days to achieve that KPI. Instead, you run KRAKEN on their premium content, and engagement jumps 2X. You will hit your client’s KPI in only two days. You now have freed up two days of premium content inventory that you can sell to another client! Maximizing your existing video consumers and increase CTR reduces the need to sell off network.

Below is a Side by Side example of Guardians Of the Galaxy Default Thumbnail vs. KRAKEN Rotation powered by Deep Learning. Boosting click rates generates more primary views. While leveraging known images that induce response is logical to insert into a video recommendation (Reese’s). The two together now drive primary and secondary video views.

As you can see from both examples, using KRAKEN actually increases lifetime value as well as advertising yield from your video assets. Displaying like base content sorted by Deep Learning and video analytics by category delivers greater relevance. Organizing video into context is key to increasing discovery. Harnessing artificial intelligence with image selection and recommendation brings together the best of both digital video intelligent worlds.

Bite into a Reese’s and see how you can increase your video lifetime value.  Request a demo and we’ll show you.

 

Making More Donuts

Being a publisher is a tough gig these days.   It’s become a complex world for even the most sophisticated companies.  And the curve balls keep coming.  Consider just a few of the challenges that face your average publisher today:

  • Ad blocking.
  • Viewability and measurement.
  • Decreasing display rates married with audience migration to mobile with even lower CPMs.
  • Maturing traffic growth on O&O sites.
  • Pressure to build an audience on social platforms including adding headcount to do so (Snapchat) without any certainty that it will be sufficiently monetizable.
  • The sad realization that native ads—last year’s savior!–are inefficient to produce, difficult to scale and are not easily renewable with advertising partners.  

The list goes on…

The Challenge

Of course, the biggest opportunity—and challenge–for publishers is video.  Nothing shows more promise for publishers from both a user engagement and business perspective than (mobile) video. It’s a simple formula.  When users watch more video on a publisher’s site, they are, by definition, more engaged.  More video engagement drives better “time spent’ numbers and, of course,  higher CPMs.    

But the barrier to entry is high, particularly for legacy print publishers. They struggle to convert readers to viewers because creating a consistently high volume of quality video content is expensive and not necessarily a part of their core DNA.  Don’t get me InfiniGraph Video Machine Learning Challenge Opportunitywrong.  They are certainly creating compelling video, but they have not yet been able to produce it at enough scale to satisfy their audiences.  At the other end of the spectrum, video-centric publishers like TV networks that live and breathe video run out of inventory on a continuous basis.   

The combined result of publishers’ challenge of keeping up with the consumer demand for quality video is a collective dearth of quality video supply in the market.  To put it in culinary terms, premium publishers would sell more donuts if they could, but they just can’t bake enough to satisfy the demand.  

So how can you make more donuts?
Trust and empower the user! 

InfiniGraph Video Machine Learning Donuts

Rise of  Artificial Intelligence

The majority of the buzz at CES this year was about Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.  The potential for Amazon’s Alexa to enhance the home experience was the shining example of this.  In speaking with several seasoned media executives about the AI/machine learning phenomenon, however, I heard a common refrain:  “The stuff is cool, but I’m not seeing any real applications for my business yet.”  Everyone is pining to figure out a way to unlock user preferences through machine learning in practical ways that they can scale and monetize for their businesses.  It is truly the new Holy Grail.

The Solution

That’s why we at InfiniGraph are so excited about our product KRAKEN.  KRAKEN has an immediate and profound impact on video publishing.  KRAKEN lets users curate the thumbnails publishers serve and optimizes towards user preference through machine learning in real time. The result?:  KRAKEN increases click-to-play rates by 30% on average resulting in the corresponding additional inventory and revenues.     

It is a revolutionary application of machine learning that, in execution, makes a one-InfiniGraph Video Machine Learning Brain Machineway, dictatorial publishing style an instant relic. With KRAKEN, the users literally collaborate with the publisher on what images they find most engaging.  KRAKEN actually helps you, the publisher, become more responsive to your audience. It’s a better experience and outcome for everyone.  

The Future…Now!

In a world of cool gadgets and futuristic musings, KRAKEN works today in tangible and measurable ways to improve your engagement with your audience.  Most importantly, KRAKEN accomplishes this with your current video assets. No disruptive change to your publishing flow. No need to add resources to create more video. Just a machine learning tool that maximizes your video footprint.  

In essence, you don’t need to make more donuts.  You simply get to serve more of them to your audience.  And, KRAKEN does that for you!

 

For more information about InfiniGraph, you can contact me at tom.morrissy@infinigraph.com or read my last blog post  AdTech? Think “User Tech” For a Better Video Experience

 

How Deep Learning Increases Video Viewability

Video viewability is a top priority for video publishers who are under pressure to verify that their audience is actually watching advertisers’ content. In a previous post How Deep Learning Video Sequence Drives Profits, we demonstrated why image sequences draw consumer attention. Advanced technologies such as Deep Learning are increasing video Viewability through identifying and learning which images make people stick to content. This content intelligence is the foundation for advancing video machine learning and improving overall video performance. In this post, we will explore some challenges in viewability and how deep learning is boosting video watch rates.

Side by Side Default Thumbnail vs. KRAKEN Rotation powered by Deep Learning

 

In the two examples above, which one do you think would increase viability? The video on the right has images selected by deep learning and automatically adjusted image rotation. It delivered a whopping 120% more plays than the static image on the left, which was chosen by an editor. Higher viewability is validated by the fact that the same video with the same placement at the same time achieved a greater audience take rate with images chosen by machine learning.

This boost in video performance was powered by KRAKEN, a video machine learning technology. KRAKEN is designed to understand what visuals (contained in the video) consumers are more likely to engage with based on learning. More views equals more revenue.

Measurement

Video Deep Learning Machine Learning A_B Testing KRAKEN InfiniGraphA/B testing is required when looking to verify optimization. For decades, video players have been void of any intelligence. They have been a ‘dumb’ interface for displaying a video stream to consumers. The fact was that without intelligence, the video player was just bit-pipe. Very basic measurements were taken, such as Video Starts, Completes, Views as well as some advanced metrics such as how long a user watched, etc. A new thinking was required to be more responsive to the audience and take advantage of what images people would reacted on. Increasing reaction increase viewability.

So how does KRAKEN do its A/B Testing? The goal was to create the most accurate measurement foundation possible to test for visuals consumers are more likely to engage with and measure the crowds response to one image vs another. KRAKEN implemented 90/10 splitting of traffic whereby 10% of traffic shows the default thumbnail image (the control) and 90% of traffic to the KRAKEN selected images. It is very simple to see why testing video performance through A/B testing is possible. Now that HTML5 is the standard and Adobe Flash has been deprecated, the ability to run A/B testing within video players has been furthered simplified.

User experience

Mobile Video Sponsor Content In FeedMaking sure a video is “in view” is one thing, but the experience has a great deal to do with legitimate viewability. A bigger question is: Will a person engage and really want to watch? People have a choice to watch content. It’s not that complex. If the content is bad, why would anyone want to watch it? If the site is known for identifying or creating great content then that box can be checked off.

Understanding what visual(s) makes people tick and get engaged is a key factor to increase viewability. Consumers have affinities to visuals and those affinities are core to them taking action. Tap into the right images and you will enhance the first impression and consumer experience.

What is Visual Cognitive Loading?

MIT-Object-Rec_0-Visual Congnition 2

How the brain recognizes objects – MIT Neuroscientists find evidence that the brain’s inferotemporal cortex can identify objects.  Visual induce human response using the right visuals increase attraction and attention. Photo: MIT

A single image is very hard to convey a video story with a single image. Yes, an image is worth a 1000 words but some people need more information to get excited. Video is a linear body of work that tells a story. Humans are motivated by emotion, intrigue and actions. Senses of sight and motion create a visual story that can be a turn on or turn off. Finding the right turn on images that tells a story is golden. Identifying what will draw them into a video is priceless.

The human visual cortex is connected to your eyes via the optic nerve; it’s like a super computer. Your ability to detect faces and objects at lightning speed is also how fast someone can get turned off to your video. Digital expectations are high in the age of digital natives. For this very reason, the right visual impression is required to get a video to stick, i.e. “sticky videos”. If you’re video isn’t sticky you will loose massive numbers of viewers and be effectively ignored just like “Banner Blindness”. The more visual information shown to a person the higher the probability of inducing an emotional response. Cognitive loading thereby gives them more information about what’s in the video.  If you’re going to increase viewability you have to increase cognitive loading. It’s all about whether the content is worthy of their time.

Why Deep Learning

Deep Learning layers of object recognition. Understanding whats in the images is as valuable as the meta data and title.

Deep Learning layers of object recognition. Understanding whats in the images is as valuable as the meta data and title. Photo: VICOS

The ability to identify what images and why are a big deal over the previous method of “plug a pray”. Systems now can recognize what’s in the image and linking that information back in real time with consumer behavior creates a very powerful leaning environment for video. Its now possible to create a hierarchical shape vocabulary for multi-class object representation further expanding a meaningful data layer.

In our previous post How Deep Learning Powers Video SEO we describe the elements behind deep learning in video and the power of object recognition. This same power can be applied to video selection and managing visual in real time. Both image rotation and full animation (clips) provides maximum visual cognitive loading.

The KRAKEN Hypothesis

Quality video and actuate measurement are paramount when optimizing video. Many ask, Why are KRAKEN images better? The reality is they are because using deep learning to select the right starting images increases the probability of nailing the right images that consumers will want to engage with. Over time, the system gets smarter and optimizes faster. A real time active feedback mechanism is created continuously adjusting and sending information back into the algorithm to improve over time.

Because KRAKEN consists of consumer curated actions, proactive video image selection is made possible.  We make the assertion that optimized thumbnails result in more engaged video watchers as proven by the increase in video plays. KRAKEN drives viewability and enable publishers move premium O&O rates as a result.

Viewability or go home

After the Facebook blunder or “miss calculating video plays” and other measurement stumbles major brands have taken notice …. if you want to believe this was just a “mistake.”  A 3 second play in AUTO PLAY isn’t a play in a feed environment when audio is off according to Rob Norman of Group M. The big challenge is there really isn’t a clear standard, just advice on handling viewability from the IAB. However, the big media buyers like Group M are demanding more and requiring half the video plays have a click to play to meet their viewability standard. This is wake up call for video publishers to get very serious about viewability and advertiser to create better content. All agree viewability is a top KPI when judging a campaigns effectiveness. 2017 is going to be an exciting year to watch how advertisers and publishers work together to increase video viewability. See The state of video Ad viewability in 5 charts as the conversation heats up.

What Why How – Video Optimization With Machine Learning


VIDEO – Better User Experience, Time on Site and Converting Readers into Viewers.

Video Optimization With Machine Learning is now a reality and publishers are intelligently making the most out of their O&O digital assets. The digital video industry is undergoing a transformation and machine learning is advancing the video user experience. Mobile, combined with video, is truly the definitive on-demand platform making it the fastest growing sector in digital content distribution.

Video machine learning is a new field. The ability to crowd source massive human interactions on video content has created a new data-set. We’re tapping into a small part of the human collective conscious for the first time. Publishers and media broadcasters are now going beyond the video view, clicks, and completions to actually obtaining introspection into video objects, orientations and types of movements that induce positive cognitive response. This human cognitive response is the ultimate in measurement of relevance where humans are interacting with video in a much more profound way. In this article, we will dive deep into the four drivers of video machine learning.

Video Challenge

Video by its nature is linear, however, there are several companies working to personalize the video experience as well as make it live. We’re now in an age where the peak of hype on Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality will provide the most immersive experience. All of these forms of video have two things in common: moving sights and sound. Humans by nature prefer video because this is how we see the world around us. The bulk of video consumed globally is mostly designed around a liner body of work that tells a story. The fact that the video is just a series of images connected together is not something people think much about. In the days of film, seeing a real film strip from a movie reel made it obvious that each frame was in fact a still image. Now fast forward, digital video has frames but those frames are made up of 1’s and 0’s. “Digital” opens the door to advance mathematics and image / object recognition technologies to process these images into more meaning than just a static picture.

Intersteller Filmstip

Example film strip. KRAKEN filter images from the movie Interstellar. See more on machine learning and movie trailers.

Images are Important (Critical)

Panthers_Video_Machine_Learning_iPhoneKRAKEN (1)It’s hard to believe how important images really are. For videos placed “above the fold,” you have to wonder why so many videos have such a low play rate to begin with (Video Start CTR). Consumers process objects in images within 13 milliseconds (0.013 seconds). That’s FAST! Capturing cognitive attention has to be achieved extremely fast for a human to commit to watching a video and the first image is important, but not everything. More than one image is sometimes required to assure a positive cognitive response. The reality is people are just flat out dismissive and some decide not to play the video. This is evident when you have a 10% CTR, which means 90% of your audience OPTED OUT OF PLAYING THE VIDEO. What happened? The facts are the first image may have been great but didn’t create a full mental picture of what was possible in the linear body of work. The reality is you’re not going to get 100% play rates, however, providing greater cognitive stimulation that builds relevance will drive greater reasons to commit time to watching a linear form of video.

Machine Learning and Algorithms

In the last 4 years, machine learning / artificial intelligence has exploded with new algorithms and advanced computing power has greatly reduced the cost of complex computations. Machine learning is transforming the way information is being interpreted and used to gain actionable insights. With the recent open sourcing of TensorFlow from Google and advances in Torch from Facebook, these machine learning platforms have truly disrupted the entire artificial intelligence industry.

DeepLearning

Feature extraction and classification is key to learning what’s in the image that is achieving positive response.

Major hardware providers, such as NVIDIA, have ushered massive advancements in the machine learning and AI fields that would have otherwise been out of reach. The democratization of machine learning is now opening the doors to many small teams to propel the product development around meaningful algorithmic approaches.

The unique properties of digital video specifically in a consumer’s mobile feed, delivered from a video publishing site, creates a perfect window into how consumers snack on content. If you want to see hyper snacking, ride a train into a city or watch kids on their smartphones. Digital content consumption has never been so interactive than now. All digital publishers and broadcasters have to ask themselves this question, “How is my content going to get traction with this type of behavior?” If your audience is Snapchatters, YouTubers, or Instagramers you’re going to have to provide more value in your content V I S U A L Y or you will lose them in a split second.

Video Machine Learning NYDN TRAFFIC on Videos sm

Graphs – Video Views (Mobile-KMView / Desktop-KDView) vs. Minutes in a day – 1440 min = 24 hrs. Mobile is dominating the weekend where as work week, during commute and after work, skyrockets in usage. Is your video content adapting to this behavior?

Video Publishing Conundrum

A big conundrum is why people are not playing videos. This required further investigation. We found that the lead image (i.e. the old school “thumbnail”, or “poster image”) had a huge impact on introducing a cognitive response. In the mobile world, video is still a consumer driven response and we hope this will stay a click to play world. We believe consumer choice and control will always win the day. For video publishers, under the revenue gun, consumers will quickly tire of native ad content tricks, in-stream video (auto play), and the bludgeoning and force feeding of video on the desktop. No wonder ad-blocking is at an all time high! There is a whole industry cropping up around blocking ads and it’s an all out war. The sad part is the consumer is stuck in the middle.

Many publishers are using desktop video auto-play to reduce friction, however the FRONT of the page, video carousel, or gallery is a click to launch environment making the images on the published page even more important. Those Fronts are the main traffic driver over possible social share amplification. As for mobile video, it’s still a click to play world for a majority of broadcasters and publishers. Video is the highest consumer engaging vehicle at their disposal and it is why so many publishers are forcing themselves to create more video content. Publishing more video oriented content is great, however, the lack of knowledge of what consumers emotionally respond to has been a major gap. A post and pray or post and measure later system is currently prevalent throughout the publishing industry.

Video Quality matters

Airplane KRAKENAirplane Original ThumbnailCreating a better consumer experience is everything if you want your content to be consumed in the days where auto-play is rampant and force fed content is inducing engagement. More brands demand measured engagement. Video engagement quality is measured by starts, length of time on video, and physical actions taken. Capturing human attention is very hard due to many distractions, especially on a mobile device. We’re in a phase where the majority of connected humans are now digital natives in this digital deluge. ADD is at an all time high (link). With < .25sec to get the consumer to engage before they have formulated the video story line in their mind is a hard task. A quick peak on the video thumbnail fast read of a headline and glance of some keywords could be standing between you and a revenue generating video play. People are pressed with their time and unwillingness to commit to a video play unless it induces a real cognitive response. Translating readers into video viewers is important and keeping them is even more important.

Mobile Video and Machine Learning

Mobile is becoming the prevalent method of on demand video access. This combination of video and mobile is an explosive pair and most likely the most powerful marketing conduit ever created. Here we have investigated how machine learning algorithms on images can provide a real-time level of insight and decision support to catch the consumer’s attention and achieve higher video yield otherwise lost. The big challenge with video is it created in a linear format and then loaded in a CMS put up for publishing and pray it gets traction. Promotion helps and placement matters, however, there is really nothing a publisher can do to adjust the video content once out. Enter video intelligence. The ability to measure in real-time video engagement is a game changer. Enabling intelligence within video seems intuitive, however, the complexity of encoding and decoding video has great a sufficient barrier of entry that this area of video intelligence has been otherwise untapped.

How and Why KRAKEN Works

Here we dive deep into consumers looking to interact with certain visual objects to create a positive response before a video is played. InfiniGraph invented a technology called KRAKEN that actually shows a series of images, but the series of images we call “image rotation” is not really new. What’s new is the actual selection and choice of those images using machine learning algorithms allowing us to adjust those images to achieve highest human response possible.

KRAKEN LIFT NYDN on Videos Mobile vs Desktop LIFT Comparision

GRAPH – LIFT by KRAKEN mobile (KMLIFT) vs. desktop (KDLIFT) on same day. NOTE the grouping prior and after lunch had overall higher boost by KRAKEN. We attribute this behavior due to less distraction.

As more images are processed by KRAKEN, the system becomes smarter by selecting better lead images driving higher video efficiency. This entire process of choosing which order to sequence the best is another part of the learning mechanism. Image sequencing is derived from a collection of 1 to 4 images. These images are being selected based upon KRAKEN ranking linked with human actions. Those visual achieved the highest degree of engagement will receive a higher KRAKEN rank. The actual sequence also creates a visual story maximizing the limited time to capture a consumer’s attention.

KRAKEN in Action

KRAKEN determines the best possible thumbnails for any video using machine learning and audience testing. Once it finds the top 1-4 images, it rotates through them to further increase click-to-play rates. It also A/B tests against the original thumbnail to continually show its benefits. Here are 2 real examples:
KRAKEN Thumbnails with 273% lift below.
Cespedes KRAKEN Cespedes Original ThumbnailWhat makes a good video lead image unique? We’re asked this question all the time. Why would someone click on one image versus another? These questions are extremely context and content dependent. The actual number of visual objects in the frame has a great deal to do with humans determining relevance, inducing intrigue or desire. The human brain sees shapes first in black / white. Color is a third response however red has it’s on visual alerting system. The human brain can process vast sums of visual information fast. The digital real estate such as mobile or desktop can be vastly different. A great example is what we call information packaging where a smaller image size on a mobile phone may only support 2 or 3 visual objects that a human would quickly recognize and induce a positive response whereas the desktop could support up to 5. Remember one size doesn’t fit all especially in mobile video. KRAKEN Thumbnails with 217% lift to the left. Trick your brain: black and white photo turns to colour! – Colour: The Spectrum of Science – BBC

4 drivers of video machine learning

Who benefits from video machine learning? The consumer benefits the most because of increased consumer experience due to creating a more visually accurate compilation of what the video content’s best moments are. It’s critical that people get a sense of the video so they commit to playing the video and sticking around. Obviously the publisher or broadcaster benefits financially due to more video consumption yielding to higher social shares.

  • Color depth: remember bright colors don’t always yield the best results. Visuals that depict action or motion elicit a higher response. Depending on the background can greatly alter color perception, hence images with a complementary background can enable a human eye to pick up colors that will best represent what they are looking at creating greater intrigue.
  • Image sequencing: Sequencing the wrong or bad images together doesn’t help but turns off. The right collection is everything and could be 1 to 4. Know when to alter or shift is key to obtaining the highest degree of engagement. The goal is to create a visual story that will increase consumer experience.
  • Visual processing: The human brain can process vast amounts of visual information fast. The digital real estate such as mobile or desktop can differ. A great example is what we call “information packaging” where a smaller image size on mobile phone screen may only support 2 or 3 visual objects in view.  Humans can quickly recognize and induce a positive response whereas the desktop could support up to 5. One size doesn’t fit all especially in mobile video.
  • Object classification: Understanding what’s in an image and classify those images provides a library to top performing images. These images with the right classification create a unique data set for use in recommendation to prediction. Knowing what’s in the image as just as important as knowing it was acted on.

Your Move

The first impression is everything or maybe the second or third if you are showing a sequence of images. For publishers and digital broadcasters adapting to their customers content consumption preferences and being on platforms that will yield the most will be an ongoing saga. Nurturing your audience and perpetuating their viewing experience will be key as more and more consumer move to mobile. KRAKEN is just the start of using machine learning to create a better user experience in mobile video. We see video intelligence expanding into prediction to VR / AR in the not too distantd future. As this unique dataset expands we look forward to getting your feedback on other exciting use cases and finding ways to increase the overall yield on your existing video assets.

Tell us what you think and where you see mobile video going in your business.