ComScore Moves Beyond The Panel, Seeks to Measure the Internet 'Universe'

Dr. Magid Abraham of ComScoreComScore on Monday introduced Media Metrix 360 -- a new "panel-centric hybrid" measurement methodology that combines panel-based data and Web site-derived server-level data.

The move seeks to address long-held industry criticism of comScore's panel-based measurement model as unnecessarily myopic.

"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," according to Dr. Magid Abraham, comScore president and CEO.

Beginning is August, the industry can expect it first taste of the audience and demographic data, which combines comScore's established 2 million person global panel with traffic data from numerous partner server files.

Driven by advertiser demand, agencies and publishers have pleaded for more accurate data to support specific media placement.

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"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 of global director of research at Starcom MediaVest.

In addition, comScore is launching a new "universe report," which 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% to more than 50%, depending on the particular market and country, according to comScore.

The "universe report" will supplement the traditional home and work universe data provided by comScore's existing Media Metrix service with server-side data in an attempt to account for a site's complete usage.

Media Metrix 360 is also expected to enable Web site-level reporting at a more granular level of detail.

The new methodology will continue to segment audiences by demographics, geo-demographics, and roughly 1,000 audience segmentation variables.

Media Metrix 360 will initially be implemented with July 2009 data for Canada and the U.S. These countries will be followed by the U.K., where August data will be published in September.

According to comScore, its panel-centric hybrid methodology has already been implemented successfully in its Video Metrix service. The new service will be introduced into other countries beginning in the fourth quarter of this year.

2 comments about "ComScore Moves Beyond The Panel, Seeks to Measure the Internet 'Universe'".
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  1. Keith Ritter from Keith Ritter Media, June 2, 2009 at 9:54 a.m.

    This is an important step forward, in my opinion. While no current form of measurement is perfect, using multiple methodologies can be a big help. More about it here http://bit.ly/SeJ94 and it will be interesting to see the differences in the data.

  2. Neil Sanderson from neilsanderson.com, June 2, 2009 at 12:50 p.m.

    This is a welcome improvement, but it relies on server data that will be provided by comScore clients (via a beacon placed on their content). To present a more accurate picture of market share, a third type of metric needs to be integrated into the mix: ISP-based tracking of ALL sites accessed (the approach used by Hitwise). This would enable website operators to better understand the entire online market, including the impact of sites that are not comScore clients.

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