While comScore’s Video Metrix had been limited to desktop and PC, on Monday the company unveiled an update that will allow the video measurement tool to account for mobile, tablet and over-the-top (OTT) viewership. The New York Times first reported the development.
Rather than break down program- or show-level viewership, the company is now calculating cross-platform audience viewership, comScorce CEO Serge Matta told AdExchanger.
But that's not to say it's divorcing itself from device- or channel-specific engagement and duration metrics. Instead, the company is assessing whether the same people are viewing content across screens, de-duplicating its list of viewers to more accurately measure reach.
“You may be watching on four different devices, but you’re really just one person,” Matta said. “There’s no real cannibalization of platforms. Everyone is a lot more hooked to these devices than anything else.”
ComScore is working to improve its TV-to-digital measurement technique during a time of fierce competition. Nielsen, for instance, recently announced it would measure streaming and OTT services. Dave Morgan, founder and CEO of television audience-targeting platform Simulmedia, pointed out that Nielsen already measures its TV panel’s digital viewing habits, and its partnership with Adobe gives it tablet and mobile viewing data.
ComScore isn’t new to cross-platform measurement – it bought mobile measurement tool M:Metrics in 2008 and acquired the product division of mobile analytics platform Nexius in 2010. But comScore has evolved since then, Matta said, in that it’s no longer “relying only on a meter and a panel.”
“We have an enormous base where we tag a bunch of different sites for display, video, mobile, apps [and] OTT, and it’s the combination of the metering, which we still have both on the PC and mobile, plus all of the additional tags we have now,” he explained.
While comScore’s digital and offline measurement operations are enabled by key data partnerships with companies like Datalogix, it is also working to enhance its existing video and TV data asset by developing a cross-platform partnership with broadcasters like NBC and ESPN, and trade consortiums like The Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement, Matta said. In some instances, comScore has helped broadcast partners demonstrate 10-30% greater digital viewership by layering in new data.
“We’re also taking steps to show the quality of [publisher] inventory, quality of bids and whether [an impression was] viewable or not,” he added. Although Matta says comScore is not interested in using its data access for ad targeting, “we truly think of ourselves as the ref. We need to make these metrics transparent, and if they come from an independent third party like us, it helps the overall ecosystem.”