Why comScore Multi-Platform Metrix is Good for Business

Late last year I wrote about the announcement of ComScore Canadian launch of Media Metrix Multi-Platform as well as the advantages and the concerns around its measurement parameters.

Last week, comScore officially launched Media Metrix Multi-Platform in Canada. In his opening presentation, Gian Fulgoni, comScore Co-Founder and Executive Chairman Emeritus, emphasized the importance of passive panel and census data in gathering reliable data as well as the rise of mobile and tablet in bringing about the need for multi-platform tracking.

Measurement needs to keep up with the pace of the consumer as well as their comprehension of—and possibly aversion to—how it works. As an example of this, Fulgoni asserted that 30% of first party cookies are deleted each month at a monthly rate of 4 times per computer, which caused an inflation in audience counts because the same person could be counted multiple times instead of being followed as one visitor from the first cookie that was dropped. One way that comScore is compensating for the duplication of cookie-based tracking is by installing panels that track user keystrokes in order to identify individuals on a multi-user computer.

Fulgoni also touched on how self-reported survey data that requires consumer recall can lead to misleading results. Data can be skewed because recall is unreliable, while the people who tend to respond to online surveys are heavy Internet users and do not necessarily represent the Internet population more generally. In fact, comScore found in comparing their passively collected data against responsive surveys led to dramatically overstated data such as e-commerce spend and time spent online. The conclusion is therefore that passive electronic observation—through a combination of the positive aspects of panel data, tags and cookies not to mention IP address tracking for dynamic panel purposes—offers a more broad and accurate dataset when compared to online survey panels.

Multi-platform majorities are taking over, as mobile and tablet usage increases, necessitating new forms of measurement. Fulgoni explained that while time spent on desktop and laptop computers has not declined, time spent on mobile devices has expanded greatly. It is important to note that smartphones and tablets are not cannibalizing desktop time spent; in fact, the growing penetration of more devices means people are engaging more across a variety of platforms. Therefore while desktop share has decreased, it is actually a smaller piece of a bigger online pie. Further, comScore shows that mobile brand lift metrics are stronger than for desktop, potentially due to the higher share of voice on a smaller screen, less distractions and clutter and the fact that it can get closer to the point of sale and further down the purchase funnel.

While the current Media Metrix Multi-Platform only accounts for measurement across the various online platforms—desktop/laptop, mobile and tablet— the future is the development of total multi-platform measurement which includes TV and radio broadcast media. For now, SVP of Sales at Comscore Brian Hayes explains, Media Metrix Multi-Platform will offer advantages to both online publishers and media planners alike, by showing the full breadth of online audiences across devices and allowing buying decision-making to be made in a more informed way.

To download a copy of the comScore Multi-Platformers Demystified presentation, visit http://www.comscore.com/CanadaMP.