A Changing Industry: How Minute Media’s Semantic Playlists Help You Effectively Leverage Your Video Content

The world of publishing is changing right in front of us. As the industry moves towards a more diverse multimedia experience, publishers and content creators have had to pivot their strategies to support these new digital experiences. One of the most exciting developments in recent years is the rapid growth of video content, commonly used to bolster user engagement alongside traditional content mediums. 

Over the years, the team here at Minute Media has recognized the positive impact that relevant videos can have on a publisher's KPIs. It began by creating our in-house contextual matching algorithm that unites relevant video content in the Voltax library with similar content on the client's site. In the early stages following the release of the contextual matching algorithm, we were able to see an immediate increase in time spent on-page and user engagement, as interest carried over from the user's article to the contextually matched video. 

Since its initial release, we have taken the semantic matching algorithm one step further, allowing users to create full Semantic Playlists. 

How it Works

Everything we do here at Minute Media is built with the users' experience at the forefront. By working with various other brands around the industry, we gained the understanding that every publisher has different needs, and the ability to customize a feature is essential. 

In its simplest form, the algorithm scans several layers of metadata such as the title, text, and any tags. It then cross-references this data with over 275,000 videos in the Voltax Video library to deliver the user a custom playlist for each piece of content. 

When creating a semantic playlist, users can manipulate the algorithm to ensure it's providing relevant content on every page. To do this, the user can use 'Preferred Tags' or 'Exclusive Tags.'

When using 'Preferred Tags,' the user can emphasize certain tags, and the algorithm will give more attention to these topics when it creates a playlist. 

'Exclusive Tags' can be used to narrow down the pool of videos the algorithm can choose from, effectively removing anything irrelevant from sneaking into the playlist. 

For example, suppose an editor for 90min.com (Minute Media's global soccer brand) wants to create a semantic playlist. In that case, they might use 'Soccer' and 'La Liga' as exclusive tags and 'Messi' and 'Barcelona' as preferred tags. The algorithm will then only choose from videos tagged with 'Soccer' and 'La Liga' within the 90min property and give a higher rating to videos within this pool tagged with 'Messi' or 'Barcelona.' This will ensure only the most relevant videos are included in every playlist. 

Everyone Benefits

While we have already seen how related videos increase time spent on-page, it is equally likely that an unrelated video will force a user to leave your site earlier than they usually would. Random videos on the page cause an irregular user experience by exposing the user to unnecessary information and distracting them from the reason they came to your site in the first place. 

Not only do semantic playlists increase user retention and trust between the user and publisher, but they also have a significant positive impact on user engagement. The concept is pretty self-explanatory: If a user showed interest in the topic and visited an article about LeBron James, they are much more likely to interact with a video about James' most recent performance than about something completely unrelated. After crunching the numbers, we have seen that users across the Minute Media platform are twice as likely to engage with a video if it has been matched contextually. 

Increasing your publishing metrics is always great, but the company's bottom line ultimately measures success. Luckily, contextual matching also positively impacts advertisers and brands. Targeted advertising has been hindered due to the arrival of new privacy legislation such as GDPR and CCPA, limiting the amount of personal data that can be leveraged for advertising. Using a contextually matched video, advertisers and brands don't have to worry about privacy concerns because the content has been matched semantically. For brands and advertisers, contextual video matching represents an opportunity to diversify income and a rare chance to shift their advertising strategy. 

Moving Forward

As mentioned above, the industry is quickly changing, as we see massive shifts away from traditional content verticals to more digital experiences. These experiences leverage different types of video and audio alongside text content to improve user engagement and, in turn, increase revenue and widen industry reach. 

Here at Minute Media, the team is committed to developing new and improved ways to maximize these digital experiences. Adding the ability to create full semantically matched playlists is just one step in our overall mission to provide the most engaging and user-friendly end-to-end platform for our entire network. 

For more detailed questions, feedback, or suggestions regarding Voltax Video, contact your account manager or send an email to PubOps@minutemedia.com