We seek here to identify the vanity metrics and the actionable metrics for online media businesses.


Vanity metrics:

  • Social Media likes/Followers: Although social media can be a distribution outlet for Media businesses, Organic’s reach on social media has been severely restricted recently. Hence this metric’s meaningfulness has reduced.
  • Amount of content produced: Media businesses can produce as much content as they want but this loses meaning if the content doesn’t see enough engagement. This metric by itself doesn’t hold much relevance
  • Ad-traffic: Since the money made off each user by most media businesses (Ad-powered) is low, the cost of the ad bringing the user in itself takes some time to be recovered if the user sticks. Drawing users in through ads doesn’t make much business sense to most media businesses and hence, we call this a vanity metric
  • Number of app installs: A lot of people install an app and don’t use it often


Actionable metrics:

  • Page views/Time spent: For ad-powered businesses, these metrics directly co-relate to revenues and for subscription powered businesses, these metrics directly affect the probability of subscription. (Results based on a study done by us – https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/consumption-perceived-value-patterns-across-avod-svod-janakiraman/?trackingId=s6y1a%2Bcud2NzrjueFIqH0w%3D%3D)
  • MAU’s/DAU’s: The active users are a strong indication of usage/consumption. Many of these users tend to be repeat users as well which makes this metric all the more important.
  • Percentage of free users who subscribe: When users are ready to pay for a service, it speaks to the service’s value to the user and these users typically provide 10X more revenues to the business than a free user.
  • Likes, Shares, Comments: When any content sees these user actions, it means that the content has caught the user’s attention and has provided significant value (by the way of information/entertainment, etc) to the user.


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