One of the best things to happen to movie trailers was the smart phone. Now people can watch movie trailers when they’re killing time in the grocery line, or waiting to pick up the kids, or while they’re on their way to the movie theater. IVA has delivered millions of trailers online to mobile devices, and the number keeps growing. But tracking plays on mobile devices presents its own set of tricky issues.
There are 6 major types of operating systems for smartphones: Android, Apple iOS, Blackberry, Symbian, WebOS, and Windows Mobile. While they share a number of features, they have a unique approach to receiving and displaying video, which requires a significant number of bits to operate properly. Some gather all of the video first and then display it. Some gather some of the video, display it and then gather more. Some gather the first bit of video, display it, and keep gathering and displaying video in sequence. For IVA, some of this ‘gathering’ comes in the form of a new play request for each part of the trailer. Apple phones in particular, have been known to generate as many as 5 or 6 requests to complete a single play of a trailer. The play is seamless for the iPhone user, but it’s a tracking challenge for IVA.
There is also a challenge tracking plays from unique users. If you’re sitting in a wifi hotspot with your friend and you say ‘check out this new trailer’, so you pull it up on your own mobile device. But IVA won’t be able to tell that two people are watching the trailer. The requests will come in from a single IP address.
After much research and effort, we have switched to a new method of tracking trailers played on mobile devices. Our new reports are based on a combination of Google Analytics and our own “Traffic Cop”. This new number will be smaller than the one we were used to seeing, but we think it is a better reflection of consumer activity.