New Media Metrix Service Counts Eyeballs Across Platforms

Global digital measurement company comScore this week launched its new Media Metrix Multi-Platform reporting service, which will give publishers and advertisers better insight into how their content is viewed on a wider variety of devices.

The new data set builds on the widely used Media Metrix, Mobile Metrix and Video Metrix services from comScore’s Audience Analytics suite. That means audience data can now be gleaned from websites, videos and apps that are viewed on desktop computers, smartphones and tablets. Media Metrix Multi-Platform measures more than 300,000 digital media properties.

Since the new service is able to measure unduplicated audiences, the latest comScore web property rankings reflect some shuffling due to the growing impact of mobile devices.

Data from February shows that the average property within the Media Metrix Top 100 increased its audience size by an average of 38 percent. comScore noted that 19 of those 100 properties saw their desktop audience jump by at least 50 percent because of the ability to count unduplicated mobile users.

The three companies that saw the biggest increases on the Multi-Platform service due to their mobile users were Groupon, 223 percent; Zynga, 211 percent; and Pandora, 183 percent.

“To me that’s the big takeaway. Clearly there’s a lot of activity happening on mobile channels, and previously they weren’t reported,” Andrew Lipsman, vice president of industry analysis at comScore told the E-Commerce Times. “There are a few publishers out there getting huge gains — they are mobile first.”

Media Metrix’s Evolution

Breaking out mobile data from desktop, to provide unduplicated figures, helps publishers and advertisers gain insight on how content is consumed.

Over the years, online media audience ratings services have had to evolve to reflect changes in both the Internet and user behavior, said Max Kalehoff, vice president of product marketing for Syncapse who used to work for Media Metrix before it was sold to comScore in 2002.

“Ratings began with measurements of home usage of desktop computers, primary browser and website experiences — with data collected periodically via mail-in software disks,” Kalehoff said. “Ratings services evolved to include workplace and university audiences, and expansion from major markets to many smaller ones — with real-time networked data collection, and more sophisticated user profiling, data integration and analytics.”

Mobile usage, however, not only changed that landscape, but how content is consumed.

“The recent explosion of mobile devices and corresponding applications has introduced a new paradigm of ‘mobile first’ for many service businesses and media companies, making comScore’s multi-platform ratings capabilities a much welcomed service,” Kalehoff told the E-Commerce Times. “A more complete picture of Internet activity is critical, because activity and audiences that cannot be accurately measured therefore can’t be measured, bought or sold.”

Data Breakdown

Data that separates desktop and mobile users can help with content monetization, improve content and marketing strategies, enhance media planning efficiency and provide better targeting strategies for certain demographics, Lipsman said.

“If we’re thinking about the publishers and the media companies, the key thing is being able to demonstrate the full size and characteristics of their audiences,” he noted. “They’re able to establish who they are trying to sell to.”

“For online publishers, multi-platform audience data enable a more complete and credible proposition when selling to advertisers and agency media buyers,” said Kalehoff. “Conversely, agencies and media buyers can refine their targeting, commerce and audience relationship management strategies with a more complete view of where and how their consumers spend time on the web, what they view, and what they buy.”

Bringing Publishers and Advertisers Closer

Publishers can use the data to make their properties more attractive to advertisers. “It helps create a view of the digital universe that maybe conforms a bit more to how we experience media every day,” Lipsman said.

Agencies, meanwhile, will use the data to create more focused media campaigns for their clients.

“Providing a holistic view of publishers’ cross-platform audience will help advertisers in determining how to work with them,” Marcus Pratt, director of insights and technology at the digital media agency Mediasmith told the E-Commerce Times.

“With some publishers, there is an opportunity to reach a 50 percent larger audience by adding mobile, but for others, an advertiser will be reaching the same group of people across devices, increasing frequency buy not reach,” he said. “This serves as an additional point to consider as advertisers plan towards the ideal reach and frequency.”

The fragmentation of today’s media landscape means consumers engage with brands and networks across multiple devices and platforms, said MWW Group Global Director Jared Hendler. The platforms Hendler includes extend beyond desktop and mobile to include cable, among others.

“Given the availability of content across all of these platforms, it has been incredibly difficult to measure without double-dipping (counting), while at the same time giving valuable metrics against each specific device and platform of delivery,” Hendler told the E-Commerce times. “ComScore’s new Media Metrix Multi-Platform boasts an unduplicated view of audience size, along with demographic composition, engagement, performance and behavioral trends.”

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