comScore Announces Cross Platform Measurement Advancements

For those of us who have been in the research sector of the media business for a number of years, there is nothing as heady or as exciting as what is happening now in our field of expertise. As Gian Fulgoni, Co-Founder and CEO, comScore noted at their recent industry meeting, “There is a digital revolution the likes of which we have never seen.” And this revolution is creating measurement innovation, not only in the data driven audience marketplace but also in cross platform measurement solutions. 

comScore has recently announced an advanced version of their cross platform measurement capability which could spell the end of age and gender proxy measurement… eventually. (We all know that the media business takes time to adjust to new metrics and protocols.) But the excitement engendered by the introduction of various datasets and their application to measuring viewer and consumer behavior is beginning to mark a distinctive change in the rate of new measurement metric acceptance.

According to Fulgoni, comScore is focusing on the need to be nimble in order to meet all technological changes. Their approach to cross platform measurement includes four pillars:

       1.       Granularity for precise measurement in cross platform and also by individual platform.
       2.       Understanding the unduplicated reach across platforms.
       3.       Buying and selling TV on advanced audiences, beyond age and gender.
       4.       Moving towards an addressable and advanced TV future.  

In a world of panels and census data, do you start with a panel and build out or do you amass census level data and model demographics? comScore’s approach is data scale first then the creation of a unified panel and census metrics. “We believe that scale drives quality,” stated Fulgoni, “You can’t start with a panel and build up on it.” Scale becomes important when measurement must include an expanse of devices; comScore’s Total Home Panel is built to measure content across  mobile, network-connected set top boxes, streaming OTT, PC, home theater, game consoles  and Iot including such devices as wearables, smart speakers and audio systems etc  for unduplicated reach.

These advancements in cross platform measurement could not come too soon for Julie DeTraglia, VP Ad Sales Research, Hulu, Ed Gaffney, Managing Partner, GroupM and Beth Rockwood, VP Portfolio Research, Turner. As DeTraglia explained, “Hulu lives in a world where we have all of the benefits of television and that is television content on a television screen. We have some challenges in measurement that we are working on. But we have all of the benefits of digital. If you want to see what the future of television looks like, look at Hulu today. We sell platform agnostic and are also looking at how ads differ by platform.“ 

Attaining true, unduplicated cross platform measurement is not an easy task. “There is a long list of must haves which makes it hard to do (cross platform measurement) well,” stated Rockwood. “Certainly the quality of the measurement and the scale of the measurement are critical if we really want to be able to get a good view both of consumer behavior and campaign effectiveness. Also understanding how consumers are receiving information in a series and unpacking all of that to understand consumer journeys,” she added. “It’s quality, coverage and scale, in no particular order. We need all three to get a good view of what is going on out there,” Gaffney concluded.

Having a third party measurement that is privacy compliant and can also measure the full range of devices for specific audience targets will enable both buyers and sellers to realize the full potential of their brands. But it will all depend on whether the industry is ready to break with the marketplace measurement metric tradition. “The currency is still age and sex and will be for the near term,” admitted Gaffney. But based on the measurement developments from companies such as comScore, maybe the future is closer than we think.

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