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How Nucleus’ Heartbeat Engagement Score Elevates User Understanding

Industry Trends and The Rise of User-Centricity: Today’s digital environment places the user at the forefront. 

In the early days of streaming, content was a one-way broadcast, created by providers and passively consumed by viewers. The success of streaming content was measured largely by the number of plays or views, with all interactions being considered equal. The prevailing belief was simple: more views equated to greater engagement, and by extension, greater success. However, this method fails to account for the true indicators of viewer engagement. 

The evolution of engagement metrics in Streaming and on

As we have moved deeper into the digital age, our view on engagement definition of engagement has matured. In the realm of streaming, not all views should be valued equally. A quick session with short play watch time is significantly different from a viewer who watches an entire series, interacts with supplemental content, or engages with the platform by liking, sharing, or commenting. The industry has opened up to now acknowledging that the degree of engagement — the ways in which viewers interact with streaming content — is as meaningful, if not more so, than the sheer number of plays.

For instance, a viewer who watches multiple episodes back-to-back, delves into bonus features, and follows a series regularly demonstrates a stronger engagement than someone who just starts an episode, watches 10 minutes of it and then leaves. This focus on the quality of engagement allows OTT providers to discern which content strikes a chord with their different audiences and to understand the nuances of why.

By moving from a focus on merely counting all views the same to a more complex appreciation of engagement, streaming services can cultivate insights into their viewers' behavior, preferences, and content consumption patterns. This data is invaluable for making informed decisions about content creation, advertisement strategy, curation, and recommendation algorithms.

Recognizing the different levels of viewer engagement is critical for several reasons:
  • Subscriber Retention: Quality engagement insights can inform strategies to enhance subscriber retention by identifying what keeps viewers coming back for more.
  • Targeted Advertising: For platforms with ad-supported models, deeper engagement metrics can lead to more effective targeting, improving the value of ad space and thereby increasing revenue.
  • Direct Advertising: Knowing what content drives engagement and what your most engaged users like to watch increases the understanding of audience value which can be used for more strategic direct sold or programmatic guaranteed deals. 
  • Content Personalization: Understanding diverse viewing patterns enables providers to personalize content recommendations, keeping viewers engaged and increasing the likelihood of a longer watch time.
  • Content Strategy Development: Granular engagement data can drive strategic content development, guiding providers on what type of content to invest in, develop further or drop.
Nucleus’ engagement score: understanding the new metric: 

Nucleus’ engagement score emerges as a solution that aligns with these industry trends. It takes a user-centric approach by focusing on different ways users interact with content, respecting their privacy, and offering OTT-providers a comprehensive engagement metric that is both insightful and ethical. 

  • Comprehensive User Analysis: Nucleus looks into the user’s journey, from the content they favor to the devices they use, all while safeguarding user privacy through an aggregate data analysis that avoids the pitfalls of intrusive tracking.
  • Adaptive Scoring in Real-Time: The eScore adapts during a user's session, reflecting immediate engagement which can guide OTT-providers and their ad partners in optimizing advertising pricing and slots. 
  • Historical and Contextual Insight: By considering past engagement trends and the current context, the score maintains relevance across time, helping OTT-providers to detect and adapt to both short-term fluctuations and long-term shifts in user behavior.
What is the engagement Score?

Nucleus' engagement score (or Heartbeat) takes a user centric approach to defining engagement for OTT-providers. We define engagement as the aggregation of a user’s interactions on a platform weighted by their calculated importance in relation to engagement.

Or to make it simple: a score between 1-100 calculated based on how users interact with content.

We look at users' characteristics, what they're interacting with, how they're interacting with it, and use machine learning to calculate a single number from 1-100 indicating a user's engagement. The algorithm takes into consideration dozens of different user engagement metrics and examines their relations and weighs them differently according to the type of content they're accessing, and from which device.

The benefit of using one score to measure your engagement is that there is only one engagement parameter to optimize against. It is fitted directly to the needs of the OTT-provider due to the algorithm taking into account the nuances of each OTT-provider’s unique audience. 

The real-time nature of the engagement ensures that the score is always the most accurate representation of how the audiences are actually interacting with the content. It further allows advertisers to be sure that they’re not wasting their money on unengaged users ensuring a higher CPM.

Integrating Heartbeat into OTT-providers strategies

The power of the Heartbeat score lies in its integration into daily operations. With actionable insights, OTT-providers can develop strategies that reflect user interests, create a more engaging content experience, and target their advertisements better. Whether optimizing for mobile readership or tailoring content to specific user groups, Nucleus provides the data-driven backbone for strategic decision-making in modern audience monetization. 

The privacy paradigm: privacy concerns have led to a seismic shift in how OTT-providers collect and analyze data

The phasing out of third-party cookies and tighter data protection laws mean that OTT-providers must now rely on first-party data and direct audience insights to inform their strategies. In this environment, tools that can capture the complexities of user engagement while respecting privacy become indispensable.

Conclusion: As the publishing industry navigates the confluence of user-centric trends and privacy mandates, Nucleus’ engagement score offers a detailed yet privacy-conscious window into audience engagement, enabling OTT-providers to monetize their audience that is not only engaging but also strategically aligned with user preferences and behaviors. 

In a landscape where understanding your audience is the key to success, don’t let complexity stand in the way. Embrace the insights offered by Nucleus’ Engagement and redefine engagement in your audience strategy. 

Contact us to discover how this tool can bring you closer to your readers while respecting their privacy and navigating the ever-changing content consumption trends.

Asbjørn Rasmussen
CEO & Founder