Web analytics heavyweight Omniture is taking on a few video analytics startups today, by introducing a new service for tracking data about online videos across the web. The public company already offers a variety of software tools that let web and mobile sites precisely measure online traffic, showing details like where people are clicking on the site and where they’re leaving. The new feature will show traffic information about videos on other web sites — including YouTube, MSN Video, Metacafe, Yahoo Video — so video producers can see when and where videos become popular.

Omniture is collecting video data like pageviews, ratings and comments using application programming interfaces that many large video sites make available. It covers between 90 and 95 percent of all video being viewed online, company marketing director Matt Langie tells me.

What he didn’t say explicitly is that Omniture is aiming to one-up competitors like TubeMogul and Visible Measures by selling its service as part of its larger “SiteCatalyst” web measurement suite. Companies can use combined data about video traffic and site traffic in a single dashboard to better understand how users respond to videos — and what interface or content changes might make their videos more popular. If these companies sell ads within or alongside videos, this data can show them which ad campaigns to run.

But Omniture isn’t so much going for any web producer who’s trying to get big. Its current clients are large and medium sized companies with significant web presences, including retailers like Walmart and BestBuy, airline JetBlue and record label Warner Bros. Some 32 of its customers have been part of its viral video private beta testing so far, although Warner is the only name that’s been announced. Omniture charges for SiteCatalyst and will charge for access to its viral video tools, too. But the company doesn’t disclose its pricing structure for these services.

In terms of competition, Visible Measures (which just announced a $10 million third round of funding) offers a tracking tool that companies embed within videos. TubeMogul (which just announced a $3 million second round of funding) offers specific features for tracking video syndication across web sites.

Startup analytics firms may be focused on web content verticals like video, but Omniture seems intent on trying to go where its customers are going. Today’s announcement means more competition for these rivals. Omniture’s already trying to do the same in other verticals; in case you were thinking about building your own Twitter analytics software, for example, check out what the company just released before you start.

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