• “Ken Burns Effect” created a 6% increase in click-throughs for Discovery's video content
  • Discovery uses our Moat integration to see the impact experiments have on ad metrics

Utilizing optimization to drive key business metrics

Discovery Communications uses Optimizely to improve their online visitor experience and drive revenue in two major ways: by optimizing video engagement and improving ad viewability.

Jeffrey Douglas is the Director of Product at Discovery Digital Networks, the company’s original video programming channel. His team uses Optimizely to drive engagement with the site’s video content, measured in clicks and overall video views.

Douglas recently decided to run an experiment he dubbed the “Ken Burns Test.” Ken Burns is documentary filmmaker who often focuses on subject matter that pre-dates film. To make his films more engaging, he utilizes a style in which the camera pans across photos and still images, creating a sense of motion and bringing them to life.

Discovery homepage recommending contentThis is an example of Discovery’s original video content pages.

Douglas and his team tested a similar panning effect against their original video stills, running the experiment on approximately 20,000 visitors to Discovery’s website.

The “Ken Burns Effect” resulted in a 6% increase in click-throughs into the video content. Douglas and his team have since applied this learning to videos across the site to further overall engagement and produce a meaningful impact on Discovery Communication's business.

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Improving AD viewability

Discovery also uses optimization to drive another key business objective—ad viewability. Using Optimizely’s Moat integration, the team is able to see the direct impact of each Optimizely experiment on their ad metrics, including viewability and attention metrics for display, video, mobile, and content ads.

According to the Discovery team, the integration has had a tremendous impact in improving ad viewability across their digital properties—including their video page, games page, photo galleries, and more. They’re constantly testing the size, placement, and display of ads on each their most valuable pages and measuring the real-time performance of each variation.

Looking forward: Page load performance

Discovery Communications plans to continue to use Optimizely to drive toward its key business objectives and differentiate itself by providing the most engaging, relevant user experiences possible.

Next on the roadmap, the Discovery team will focus on page load performance and its impact on engagement, especially on mobile devices. They plan to use Optimizely to test out their core hypothesis: if pages load faster, especially on mobile, users engagement will increase.


Media and entertainment