Podcast: Bryan Wiener’s Plan To Save ComScore

AdExchanger Talks is a podcast focused on data-driven marketing. Subscribe here. This episode of AdExchanger Talks is supported by Tealium.

ComScore CEO Bryan Wiener will speak at AdExchanger’s upcoming PROGRAMMATIC I/O New York conference taking place Oct. 15-16.

One month into the job, comScore’s new CEO, Bryan Wiener, hopes to renew the company’s sense of purpose. It’s a tall order after an accounting irregularity spurred lawsuits, a delisting from Nasdaq, an SEC investigation and the reauditing of three years of financials – all of which cost $160 million.

“Those issues not only drained the coffers; they created a fog around the company,” Wiener says in the latest episode of AdExchanger Talks. “This is a company that was incredibly well positioned, did incredibly well, but lost its way. Culturally it went from being a disruptor to acting like a market leader. And I think the best companies always act like disruptors.”

He adds, “If we lose our ability to be restless and entrepreneurial, we will lose.”

Wiener is focusing on a few specific imperatives, the biggest of which is measuring “video everywhere.”

“Consumers … are watching the same show on different devices, and the buyer doesn’t know if that’s three people watching once or one person watching three times,” he says. “If you can’t understand who you’re reaching and how many times you’re reaching them, then you lose trust in the media.”

ComScore’s return to form is happening in a changed competitive environment. Media companies like NBCUniversal and Roku have developed in-house measurement capabilities, while new measurement competitors have emerged, most notably Oracle.

Wiener acknowledges these factors, but adds, “If you talk to the media properties, they all agree that they’re better off if there’s a third-party solution. Remember, they’re not in the measurement business. They would welcome a comScore solution that lowers friction and allows them to sell easier with better returns to buyers. And buyers would welcome that if they can buy with more confidence that the media investment is going to lead to sales.”

He adds comScore will not buy companies in the near future.

“That is off the table,” he says. “I want to focus internally and make sure we’re putting our energies behind the redeployed strategy, that we are building a high-performance culture that I believe is necessary to be a sustainable competitor.”

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