Online video analytics tools 101

20. June 2016

If you have an app with video content, you may want to consider tracking down as much information about your users and their interactions as possible. One of the key things to consider is a suitable tool. Here is a brief round-up of online video analytics tools that we have implemented into our apps – and consider as the best options.

Indeed, any content analytics tool can give valuable information to learn a lot about your users and your content, but it is necessary to realize several important principles if you want to use such tools to the fullest:

  • Different apps, different tools: understanding what may be a perfect tool for certain type of app may be much less ideal for another

  • Monitoring the right things: not only it depends on the nature of an app but also on your audience. Moreover, KPIs change over time so you should keep that in mind.

  • Choosing the best tool based on your plans: take into account what may happen if you get more users, expand to another platform or country and choose the best tool within these conditions (& budget)

Conviva Insights

  • price: approx. $15,000 – $22,000/monthly (based on requested views)

  • web: conviva.com/products/conviva-insights/

Conviva Insights is one of a few products that the company sells and that tackles online video analytics in terms of viewer engagement and video performance. It is a quite advanced tool so generally; it is more suitable for bigger VOD services. Regarding the implementation, you can find out and learn a lot of important information from the Conviva Community website and download “action ready” libraries or use Conviva SDKs to enable the solution within your apps and devices. But based on our experience on HBO.GO project the implementation hardly is as easy as it may seem.

What it does:

  • Video quality, audience & engagement insights

  • Real-time monitoring, alerting & diagnostics

  • Delivery chain insights

  • Key details and metrics for individual viewers (optional)

  • Identify top rising content (optional)

  • Reports live events (optional)

UI has slightly change since then but you can get a nice picture of it from this video:

What we like: Interface, monitoring possibilities and “multi-platform-ness”.
What not so much: Implementation is not as easy as it may seem (Conviva SDK).

Youbora Analytics

  • price: N/A

  • web: nicepeopleatwork.com/youbora/

Youbora Analytics is an advanced measurement tool by NPAW that not only serves the same purpose as Conviva Insights, but that basically has the same features. Implementation is done by including plugin libraries in a player code or by your own integration through their API. However, the implementation of Youbora Analytics is not always a simple task as we ended up creating our own plugin to make it work.

What it does:

  • Video quality, audience & engagement insights

  • Real-time monitoring, alerting & diagnostics

  • Delivery chain insights

  • Key details and metrics for individual viewers

  • Reports live events

Image source:  Youbora Analytics promo video

What we like: Interface, dashboards, monitoring possibilities and “multi-platform-ness”.
What not so much: Difficulties with implementation – especially on Smart TVs.

Google Analytics

  • price: free

  • web: google.com/analytics 

Google Analytics is a most widely used & versatile tool for online analytics and can be used to measure online video analytics on all platforms as well. But since it is not specifically oriented to do so, it does allow monitoring such complex attributes & interactions. Implementation is carried out by insertion of the SDKs (based on your platforms) and setting up custom events within your apps.

What it does:

  • Video quality, audience & engagement insights

  • Real-time monitoring

  • Key details and metrics for individual viewers

Here is the example of a simple video event tracking report: 

What we like: It’s free of charge. The interface & dashboards are clean and intuitive. Sufficient monitoring possibilities. Connection to Google Tag Manager.
What not so much: Custom implementation needed. Doesn’t recognize TV by user-agents.

Adobe Analytics

  • price: $5,000/month

  • web: adobe.com/marketing-cloud/web-analytics.html

Adobe Analytics is quite similar to Google Analytics since it is not strictly oriented to be used as an online video analytics tool, but it is capable of all the necessary measurements regarding that. Although, it is more suitable for enterprises, especially these ones that want to take advantage of Adobe Cloud services and the connection to other Adobe tools. Implementation time is usually longer than GA.

What it does:

  • Video quality, audience & engagement insights

  • Real-time monitoring

  • Key details and metrics for individual viewers


What we like: Sufficient monitoring possibilities.
What not so much: Interface not so clean & intuitive. Features/money value.

Flurry Analytics

  • price: free

  • web: developer.yahoo.com/analytics/

Flurry Analytics is a quite complete tool developed by Yahoo that allows similar options regarding online video analytics as GA. To implement this tool, you just have to sign-up on the web, create an app, download the latest SDK and integrate it with a few codes of line. Based on our experience – especially on Smart TVs – it is slightly easier than implementation of GA.

What it does:

  • Video quality, audience & engagement insights

  • Real-time monitoring

  • Key details and metrics for individual viewers

What we like: Complete custom implementation is not necessary. Sufficient monitoring possibilities.
What not so much: Not so well-known like GA – worse compatibility. Dashboards not so well-organized. Errors and crashes difficult to identify.  

Sum-up & our recommendation

What is the best tool then? As many other things, it basically depends on your priorities and most of all your budget. All of the tools will do fine to provide you basic analytics if you don’t need to analyze all the small details and nuances. However, Conviva Insights and Youbora Analytics monitor crashes and other problems within content more clearly and precisely, which are quite valuable metrics to keep track of. On the other hand, that’s what you are paying quite a lot.

Even despite these advantages of advanced tools our recommendation goes to Google Analytics, for several reasons. It’s free. It’s the most widely-used analytical tool so a lot of people can easily use its intuitive interface and find important information on their own. And last but not least, you can connect it with Google Tag Manager, which can save you plenty of time spent on re-implementation off all the analytical stuff if you decide to start using other (monitoring) tools – as your service evolves.

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