ClickPicks: Audience Trackers

And then there were two. Now that Jupiter Media Metrix has sold itself off to former competitors in bits and pieces, the online advertising world has just two places to go for Web traffic and audience data: comScore and/or Nielsen//NetRatings. The choices may have narrowed, but there is still plenty of confusion about where to turn for specific info. Consider this the cheat sheet.

comScore — comScore acquired Media Metrix’s Internet Audience assessment service for the United States and Canada. Under the new name of comScore Media Metrix (cMM), the service measures audience buying behavior and audience Internet usage, and boasts the largest sample of Internet users anywhere. Most recently, cMM discussed plans for Media Metrix 2.0, slated for a November 2002 release. It will double the firm’s sample from 60,000 to 120,000 Internet users, accounting for almost half of the U.S. online audience.

As part of the sale, JMM’s site profiler tool, AiM, also became part of comScore, offering subscribers the ability to rank sites based on behavioral, psychographic, and demographic factors. The tool earned our nod last month as the most useful syndicated site search system currently in existence (Media, July 2002).

Nielsen//NetRatings — Nielsen//NetRatings is the combined property of NetRatings, Nielsen Media Research, and AC Nielsen. Nielsen//NetRatings acquired Jupiter Media Metrix’s AdRelevance in April, and its European Audience Measurement contracts in May. Nielsen//NetRatings offers audience and behavior measurements, as well as market research. It has eight service suites in four categories — Advertising, eCommerce, Finance, and Media. In the Media category, advertisers can find audience measurement data ranging from rankings by page views, visits per person, demographics, banner data, and click rates to reports breaking down top websites, top categories, and daily/hourly audience traffic. Internet Media Strategies also indicates which forms of rich media are most popular throughout the Internet and what speeds of Internet access are the most popular and grab the most reach.

The most interesting product offered is WebRF, the first comprehensive reach and frequency planning tool for Internet audience data (see our review on previous page).

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