The group now has 24 members, leading to an annual budget of about $1.8 million to fund studies and initiatives in areas such as cross-media measurement, single-source metrics and utilization of set-top-box data. Members stretch from media companies such as Time Warner to advertisers such as Unilever to agencies such as GroupM.
The 16 voting members pay $100,000 a year and have a seat on the board, giving them a say in determining research priorities. Non-voting participants have dues of $25,000 annually. CIMM announced Wednesday the addition of A&E Networks and Scripps Networks as new non-voting members.
When CIMM was formed in 2009, there was a commitment to making the research it commissioned publicly available for free. CIMM managing director Jane Clarke said the sunshine pledge has been fulfilled, though members have received exclusivity periods to review new work before a wide release.
That will be the case with a USA TouchPoints study on cross-media usage that CIMM funded.
As 2012 approaches, Clarke said the coalition will be seeking to re-sign members with one-year deals using the same pricing structure. She said there may be some membership changes by dint of industry reshuffling, such as Comcast combining with NBC Universal, or top research executives who brought a company into CIMM moving elsewhere.
"We may not end up with exactly the same configuration, but I'm confident we'll end up with an equally good (one)," Clarke said.
The USA TouchPoints initiative has CIMM funding research aimed at launching a cross-platform media consumption service, which would track daily consumption across TV, radio, print, online and mobile platforms. The Media Behavior Institute (MBI) is conducting the research, which is similar to a study done in the U.K.
MBI recently received investments from Nielsen and GfK MRI as it moved through its work. Clarke said those commitments were largely the result of CIMM linking with the fledgling company. "We plucked them out of relative obscurity," she said.
That calls to mind one mission NBC Universal chief researcher Alan Wurtzel, a CIMM architect, laid out for the group back in 2009: reach beyond the establishment.
"There's a guy in a garage in Silicon Valley that might be producing some sort of technology right now that we could apply," Wurtzel said to a group of researchers, "but we don't know where he is and he doesn't know how to get to us."