comScore, Inc., a leader in measuring the digital world, has announced the introduction of Media Metrix 360, a ‘panel-centric hybrid’ solution to digital audience measurement. The new approach combines person-level measurement from comScore’s proprietary 2 million person global panel with Web site server metrics in order to account for 100 percent of a Web site’s audience. The new service will reconcile traffic metrics reported from client server-side and ad server data, with fully consistent, hybrid audience measures that can be used for improved planning of online media campaigns, and for evaluating the delivery of those campaigns at an unprecedented level of audience completeness and granularity.
“comScore Media Metrix 360 represents an innovative and elegant measurement solution to the increasingly complex digital media landscape,” said Dr. Magid Abraham, comScore President and CEO. “The past few years have seen the rise of global Internet markets, the emergence of new distribution platforms, and a substantial increase in media fragmentation and niche audiences. Through comScore’s ‘panel-centric hybrid’ approach to audience measurement, we are able to combine the best of both worlds of panel and server-side measurement to bring the industry a comprehensive accounting of the complete digital media universe. Furthermore, this new approach will effectively reconcile panel and server-based measurement and provide unified numbers that are fully consistent with the ad server counts used for advertising payments. In this sense, Media Metrix 360 represents the Web’s first true measurement ‘currency.’ The Internet industry can depend on comScore to consistently innovate and improve its services to meet the industry’s needs, and we will continue to work cooperatively and transparently with various industry organizations to enable our clients to maximize the bottom-line benefit of our innovations.”
Media Metrix 360 will initially be implemented with July 2009 data for Canada and the U.S. that will be published in August 2009. These countries will be followed by the U.K., where August 2009 data will be published in September 2009. The new service will be introduced into other countries beginning in Q4 2009.
A newly developed comScore “universe report” will provide visibility into the entire universe of Internet usage, including access of Web sites from mobile devices and computers outside of home and work (i.e. Internet cafes, schools, libraries, and other non-private locations). Users at these locations can account for a significant percentage of total Web site traffic, ranging from 10 percent to more than 50 percent, depending on the particular market and country. comScore’s “universe report” will supplement the traditional home and work universe data provided by comScore’s existing Media Metrix service with server-side data to account for a site’s complete usage.
Media Metrix 360 will also enable Web site-level reporting at a significantly more granular level of detail. This feature is important to many clients as the Internet becomes increasingly fragmented and marketers’ ability to reach and aggregate niche audiences grows in importance.
The new service will eliminate the long-standing confusion about the differences between internal client metrics and the publicly reported third-party audience estimates. comScore has developed a proprietary methodology to combine stand-alone panel and server-side metrics to calculate audience reach in a manner that is not effected by distortions such as cookie deletion, cookie rejection and non-user requested traffic.
The new comScore methodology will continue to segment audiences by demographics, geo-demographics, and more than one thousand audience segmentation variables invaluable to planning and targeting online media campaigns. It will also preserve critical audience analytics tools, including reach and frequency and custom unduplicated reach calculations on the fly.
comScore’s introduction of Media Metrix 360 represents the culmination of more than a year of working with clients to develop and implement comScore’s panel-centric hybrid methodology. This approach has already been implemented successfully in comScore’s Video Metrix service. comScore’s Canadian Research Advisory Council, a 15-member consortium of clients in Canada, has also been especially important to the development of the new methodology for Web reporting.
“A culture of transparency and data integrity is necessary in our industry,” said Sharon Flynn of Astral Television Networks and chair of comScore’s Canadian Research Advisory Council. “Astral is proud of our collaboration with Canada’s leading media companies and comScore to help provide this groundbreaking solution.”
“This is a significant advancement in the science of online audience measurement…an historic moment,” said Tomer Strolight, President of Torstar Digital, a leading Canadian media company and owner of Toronto Star, Canada’s largest newspaper. “We applaud comScore for undertaking this groundbreaking step. Their willingness to work with the industry in an open fashion has resulted in the beginning of a new chapter in audience measurement history. We view it as a turning point.”
comScore clients can choose to implement hybrid measurement for their own sites by embedding beacon calls on user-requested content. comScore has built a massive infrastructure to handle billions of beacon requests, partnering with Akamai to use their Web Application Acceleration Solutions and deliver industry-leading response times.
“As one of its first participants, Federated Media is firmly in support of comScore’s Media Metrix 360 measurement initiative,” said John Battelle, chairman of Federated Media. “This new hybrid approach represents a critically important evolution in online audience measurement, especially for publishers and content networks, by better accounting for niche audiences, distributed content and the mobile environment. We view it as an important leap forward for the industry.”
“With the rapid evolution of digital media, accurate measurement of multiplatform content has become increasingly complex,” said John Sollecito, VP Digital Media Research, MTV Networks. “comScore is helping answer the industry’s call by providing a comprehensive audience measurement solution that will enable publishers to account for all the places their content is consumed in the digital environment.”
“comScore’s panel centric-hybrid approach will increase quality, reliability and trust of all online metrics,” said Judit Nagy, VP Market Research, MySpace. “The new methodology will capture multi-location based online activities, and will have the ability to track the ever evolving Social ‘Net. comScore is taking Internet measurement to the next level, if not to the highest sophistication level, ever, and delivers on the long awaited mantra ‘Internet is the most measurable media.’”
“Marketers and agencies are seeking more investment accountability, smarter aggregation and multi-dimensional data that provides more holistic purview of online customer behaviors,” said Kate Sirkin, EVP, Global Director of Research, Starcom MediaVest. “Starcom MediaVest applauds comScore for driving tangible, progressive advancements in the growing and needed field of digital audience measurement.”
“Given the remarkable growth and influence that the U.S. Hispanic consumer represents for marketers, Terra welcomes comScore’s continued efforts to improve the study of the market,” said Jim McCabe, Vice President, Sales, Terra USA. “As more and more advertisers recognize the importance of the U.S. Hispanic market it is vital that the size and scope of the audience is measured correctly and we applaud comScore for looking for new ways to accurately do this.”
“Media Metrix 360 represents an important step in digital audience measurement,” said Alex Baxter, General Manager, Digital, of Parade Publications. “Combining panel and server measurement will give publishers a ‘best of breed’ approach that will improve accuracy, transparency and accountability for the entire industry.”
“4Kids Entertainment has been seeking a measurement methodology which most accurately reflects online usage patterns. We strongly support comScore’s efforts to adopt a panel-centric hybrid approach to audience measurement,” said Rick Monihan, VP Online Sales, 4Kids Entertainment. “comScore’s new measurement model will bring panel and server data into greater alignment. This will ensure that traditionally difficult-to-capture online behavior, including access at schools and public computers, can be accounted for. This unique measurement system will provide more precise data and more reliable information for both advertisers and publishers.”
“High-quality, reliable audience measurement is the lifeblood of any ad network,” said Russ Fradin, President of Adify, the premier vertical ad network management platform and media services company. “comScore Media Metrix revolutionized the ad network industry with the launch of the first ad network measurement report several years ago. Media Metrix 360 shows their commitment to continued innovation and leadership in measuring everything that happens on the Web. We expect the 180+ networks on our platform will welcome this great new measurement approach.”
“As the world leader in providing multi-media weather information, it is crucial for us to be able to accurately measure every consumer we reach across the entire digital media spectrum,” said Robert Henry, General Manager, AccuWeather.com. “We strongly support comScore’s move toward a panel-centric hybrid methodology, and believe this approach represents the right evolution at the right time for the digital advertising industry.”
“Discovery Communications is committed to improving the quality of Internet audience measurement and is supportive of comScore’s efforts to provide the industry with a better solution,” said David Ernst, Vice President, Digital Media Market Resources, Discovery Communications. “comScore’s hybrid solution, which combines elements of panel-based and server-side measurement, should bring greater alignment between these two measurement techniques and provide the industry a much more comprehensive view of digital consumer behavior.”
“As an advertising network that is focused on the aggregation of long tail specialty-content sites,” said Chuck Moran, VP Marketing of Burst Media, “We require transparency as well as the detailed reporting of our diverse network. We are pleased that comScore’s hybrid initiative addresses both of these needs in a manner that is grounded in a person-level panel.”
“Direct, beacon-based measurement is imperative in order to reflect the true value of ContextWeb’s page level targeting across billions of Web pages to advertisers on our ADSDAQ Exchange,” said Anand Subramanian, CEO of ContextWeb, Inc. and the ADSDAQ Exchange. “There is no other way to effectively understand our fragmented media environment.”
“We already use comScore extensively for audience measurement and tracking user behaviour online,” said Robert Jenkyn, VP Digital Solutions at Media Experts, and member of comScore’s Canadian Research Advisory Council. “We welcome hybrid measurement as it will allow us to gain a greater insight into consumers’ site-side activity, which will deepen our usage of the service.”