Is a view the same as a hit ?
A hit for those of you who dont know is merely the presentation on a webpage of a file by a webserver. You put 10 graphics on a webpage, you get 10 hits when that page is displayed.
Internet oldie goldies will remember the entertainment from the mid 90s of sites publishing and talking joyfully of how many hits their websites got.To the uniformed, of which the business and general media was a card carrying member, references to hits were meant to represent how much traffic a website got. Stories were written daily referencing the “number of hits a site got” as a way to represent their traffic. Of course it was absolutely not the case. Fortunately these days, its rare you hear people use hits as a traffic metric.
Today though, with all the excitement about rich media, whether its video or audio, you hear and read all about views and listens.
Which leads me to the question: Just what is a view or listen ?
For podcasts, is a listen a download ? I hope not, i have several podcasts in Itunes i subscribe to, and that download every episode, but I havent listened to in a long while. A couple others I have listened to the first several seconds or minutes of, but havent really dented. How would what i just did fit into the podcasts metrics ?
In radio there is Time Spent Listening. There are quarter hours , where a radio station gets credit for someone listening for 15 minutes if they listen for 5 minutes. Are there standards for podcasts ?
Then there are videso on the net. Just what exactly is a view ? Our HDNet Trailer for an upcoming Dennis Rodman show has been viewed 2339 times. I know i have gone to the site and it has started running at least 20 times that I didnt watch it all the way through. Are those counted ? I cant find anywhere on the Youtube.com site that defines how views are counted. Did i miss it ?
And this isnt a reference on Youtube. Its a question for an industry. Streaming video servers and Ad Insertion servers can count exactly how many bytes were streamed to a user which can be recalculated into number of minutes , seconds or hours for each attempt at viewing a video, whether ad or content. And from experience, i can tell you that a huge chunk of attempts to view are aborted for any number of reasons. Yet I have yet to see any references to views with an average length of viewing or a percentage of video watched competely through.
Just what is a view ? I have a feeling that its pretty darn close to a hit these days.