What Exactly is a “View”?

Wow – your YouTube video got 10,000 views! Must have been a success. Your audience watched your video and ultimately walked away with your key message. But did they really?

Nowadays, video can be accessed from anywhere and through several channels; Netflix, Facebook, YouTube, and Snapchat to name a few. In fact, as far back as 2015, Facebook reported that they hit 8 billion daily views (Techcrunch)and relative newcomer Snapchat started seeing similar numbers in early 2016 (Fortune). These view numbers have created an opportunity for social platforms to monetize the engagement of users (their views) by selling “eyeballs” to advertisers.

This is a pretty straightforward proposition. What’s not is the exact definition of a “view”, which varies from platform to platform. Fear not! We put together a straightforward graphic to refer to.

What counts as a video view?  Social video.  Live video.

Why does all of this matter? The advantage for social sites is clear: a healthy view count correlates to more video content from users and publishers. People bring their video content (and eyeballs!) and advertisers have an opportunity to connect with this highly engaged audience. The trickiness for advertisers lies in getting the most out of the “view” on each platform.

What do you think about what is considered a view? Is it fair?