The (Media) Metrics Revolution

November 30, 2012

metrics, comscore


As the dramatic shift to mobile continues, there has been an even greater importance placed on measuring digital metrics.  With so many media organizations gaining the majority of their traffic through mobile devices, there still hasn’t been an online audience measurement tool that best quantifies the ‘cross-platform.’

According to Fred Wilson, a VC and principal of Union Square Ventures, while the increasingly mobile world evolves, the way of measuring has (until this point) remained at a standstill.

“This "multi platform" environment is the reality of most online properties today. But it has been impossible to get an aggregated and, importantly, an unduplicated view of the audience across all of these devices.”

Yesterday, comScore announced a new audience measurement tool that could change all of that.

It’s called the Media Metrix Multi Platform and in comScore’s words, “it offers unduplicated accounting of audience size and demographics that reflects today’s multi-platform digital media environment.”

As the term ‘online’ becomes more platform agnostic, media organizations who rely primarily on mobile audiences (think Twitter, Pandora) have been crying foul over the fact there hasn’t been a reliable way to measure their audiences mostly because there hasn’t been a reliable way to measure mobile. 

The Media Metric Multi Platform changes that and not surprisingly, there is a quite shakeup in the new rankings of major media properties.  

The biggest winner of this metric tool is the aforementioned Pandora, who according to AdWeek, ‘had an incremental audience of 164 percent on mobile compared to its desktop-only audience.’  As a result, their ranking rose 38 spots and is now the 23rd ranked ‘Web property’ according the comScore metric.  The sports media giant ESPN also saw a 31% rise in the rankings due to their continue emphasis on game-watching on mobile devices.    

Buzzfeed is a good example of a media company who benefited from this change due to the fact nearly a third of their traffic comes from mobile and social.  Their president, Jon Steinberg, explains why this is a big deal for his company.

“Mobile and social are the new starting point, or default, for web use, and comScore is now going to capture this all in one number.  For media companies like BuzzFeed that have embraced mobile, this is the industry’s 3rd party measurement finally catching up.”

AdWeek points out that that with the greater emphasis on mobile, expect media brands to spend more resources in developing ways to increase engagement and user interaction on mobile.

“It will likely lead publishers to focus more on developing user-centric Web experience and better adaptive and responsive mobile designs and site integrations, as has been the trend of late.”