CIMM is Meeting the Challenge of Measuring Children and Teens

The measurement of viewers under 18 has always been somewhat of a challenge for television. The task has become even more complicated with the fragmentation of media as younger viewers especially are using their devices for a range of media consumption behavior.

CIMM (the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement) has just announced the formation of a new committee on Children and Teens’ measurement that, according to CIMM CEO Jane Clarke, is tasked “with the goal of providing a higher level of urgency and importance to improving cross-platform, digital and mobile measurement (for both content and ads) among children and teens aged two to 17.” The committee has approached both comScore and Nielsen with RFPs to see what measurement approaches they recommend.

The challenge of cross platform measurement for adults is compounded when it comes to those under 18 years old because of the way they use all viewing devices including simultaneous use, OTT, gaming, social media and TV co-viewing. There are also the legal limitations in reaching and measuring young, impressionable consumers because of COPPA*, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which requires parental consent for children under the age of 13.

This all means that measurement of children and teens requires either the development of an opt-in calibrated panel or accurate ascription of demographics. But even ascription can be problematic. In some cases, measurement companies are collecting significant amounts of traffic data that is unreportable because measurement companies can't use the third party data without parental permission. Some of the major measurement companies face some aspect of this problem. As Clarke explains, ”Nielsen can’t report Facebook data for those under 18 due to the MRC and COPPA and comScore doesn’t report any digital data that it can’t attribute it to a demographic group.”

There are a range of questions and issues in measuring 2-17s from the ethical such as “How do you gain parental approval to measure childrens usage of media?” and “What about privacy on individual devices?” to the practical such as “What data would be most valuable and how would we get it?” and “Is passive capturing of data possible and if so how?” and “How will you capture co-viewing and channel decision-making?”  So when it comes down to it, the big question is “Where do you start?”

One member of the CIMM committee, Marc Normand, VP Research Disney Media Sales & Marketing, said, “Protecting children’s privacy while providing sufficient 3rd party data that can be used for planning/buying/selling media across devices/platforms is the main challenge.  We each have our own 1st party data, but we need a 3rd party measurement company to validate the data and put it in competitive context.” Turner VP of Research Mark Loughney, another committee member, agreed, “We and our advertising partners need to know more about the demographic characteristics of who is watching.  From our 1st party data we know how much content and how many ads we are serving but we don’t know who the content and ads are reaching. ”

Time is of the essence. Even now, as this next upfront gets underway, media companies who target kids and teens have limited data to show, especially in this cross platform environment where those young Digital Natives are most active.

This article was first published in www.Mediapost.com

·       *  COPPA, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act ( was enacted in 1998 and requires parental consent in order to report personally identifiable information collected from persons under the age of 13.  The Federal Trade Commission issued an amended Rule for COPPA on December 19, 2012 that took effect on July 1, 2013. This rule prohibits certain websites and online services from collecting, using, or disclosing personal information of children under 13 without first notifying parents and obtaining consent.  
In order to comply with these regulations, measurement firms such as comScore and Nielsen have undertaken initiatives to enumerate the kids and teens populations, and to obtain parental consent for children’s measurement. 


Measuring Brand Integration. Q&A with Mark Owens

Mark Owens is someone who is immersed in brand affinities and integration. His background includes a stint at Pepsi where he integrated pop culture icons to help position and move the brand. He then moved to LA, expanded his client base and subsequently worked with some of the largest companies in the world to help them integrate into all types of media including television, feature films and the digital space. Now the Chief Revenue Officer at Corbis, a company wholly owned by Bill Gates, Owens is charged with matching brands with content to spur integration and consumer engagement and to measure it using a proprietary measurement system called BEN.

In this interview, Owens talks about his role in the company, how integrations work, how integrations are measured, types of algorithms used to track integration efficacy, programmatic in the agency world, television’s new role in the ecosystem, rebranding efforts and future trends for the media industry.

There are four videos in the interview that can be viewed at

Subject                                                          length (minutes)
Background and TV                                         4:58
BEN                                                                  7:30
Multiplatform and Programmatic                     7:04
Predictions                                                        4:06

Here is an excerpt of the interview:

CW: What is Corbis?

MO: Corbis is Bill Gates’ company. He is the sole shareholder. It was founded 25 years ago as an intellectual property company where images (now over 160 million of them) are used by either media companies for commercial brands from the standpoint of their usage tied to marketing – whether it’s websites or brochures or collateral materials. That was the core business for Corbis for many, many years. About ten years ago they started to work on the entertainment side as the image side went more into the digital era and we morphed into more of a media entertainment company.

Charlene Weisler interviews Mark Owens of Corbis who talks about his background and his company in this4:58 minute video:

CW: Where do you think the television business is headed?

MO: In the days of blue ray DVD, VHS, Beta, ultra disk and laser disks, we thought it would be the demise of the cinema business. Then streaming came along and we thought it would be the demise of television. What it really has meant is that content consumption has gone way up. It has gone up from five hours a day to eight hours a day. And I don’t know if our human brain is ready to tackle from an evolutionary standpoint eight hours of content a day. But people are viewing eight hours of content a day and they will start to move away from calling it television and begin to call it content. And if they are watching it on device A, B or C, it is just a device, a screen.

Mark Owens of Corbis talks to Charlene Weisler about BEN, a measurement interface and platform for integrated marketing in this 7:30 minutes:

CW: How do you measure your different integration offerings? 

MO: The most interesting thing for me, coming into a built company, is how we use measurement and ROIs as not only a differentiator for the business but something we give to our content contributors like our photographers and videographers or the producers who give us content for brand integration or our brands.  We are the middlemen, the liaison between those content providers and the brands and the publishers. And our job is to make sure that the data that is in the hands of who is using, following, watching – all that – is shared with our contributors to give them the best feedback to let them know what we need. We have made partnerships with some of the biggest agencies in the world - Nielsen, comScore, C4 (which used to be the motion picture group) so we can evaluate the integrations we do and what did that actually do for the brand. How did it move the needle in terms of purchase intent, affinity, recall and impressions by the demographic.  We want to put data and science into the mix and create algorithms and a defense-able policy of how that will really improve the bottom line of a brand.

CW: How do you put data and science into the mix?

MO: First we have a lot of really smart people who look at the 25 year history of how we have done integrations in the past and what have been the metrics that have really moved the needle. Is it the cast? Is it the distributor? Is it the time slot? Is it the social media scores? What is the composition of the data points that really help us articulate whether an opportunity on a prognostication standpoint has a really good chance for success, or on the backend, what are the drivers and the movers of the needle that really help a brand. So we have created some interesting formulas that are proprietary but think about it as if you have a certain amount of the factors it will give you one score. If you have less of those you will have another score. We created the Branded Entertainment Network tool called BEN to become the measurement experts and be seen as Nielsen is seen in the television industry. We want our BEN product to eventually be the gold standard in terms of measurement.

 Charlene Weisler interviews Mark Owens of Corbis who talks about multiplatform applications and programming in this 7: 04 minute video:

In this final 4:06 minute video, Mark Owens shares his predictions on the future of media with Charlene Weisler: 

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