COLUMBIA and RESTON, US: Arbitron Inc and comScore have announced an agreement to develop the first-ever five-platform measurement initiative that would provide an unparalleled view of changing consumption of video, audio and display content across radio, television, PCs, smartphones and tablets.
This initiative would provide persons-level insights by integrating the complementary resources of both companies - the census and panel-based PC, mobile and TV set-top box measurement capabilities of comScore along with enhanced, single-source, multiplatform measurement capabilities of the Arbitron Portable People Meter (PPM) technology.
ESPN, which has been an industry leader in the adoption and development of cross-platform audience research through its ESPN XP initiative, will collaborate on the design of this initiative as its charter client. The unprecedented size and scope of the project is being driven by the multiplatform measurement requirements of ESPN, which delivers video, audio and display content via television (both in-home and out-of-home), online and mobile video, PC web, mobile web, apps, tablets, digital audio and terrestrial radio.
This initiative lays the foundation for a national-scale, continuously operating, syndicated cross-platform measurement solution for the media and marketing industries. The goal is to produce common metrics across all platforms at the scale and granularity required by both content providers and advertisers, and to demonstrate the audience reach and duplication of each media platform.
Current plans are to develop a service offering that would be available to all media companies, advertisers and advertising agencies that wish to understand and measure the audience size, composition and impact of media content and marketing efforts as listened to and viewed across multiple platforms.
"The real value to this project from a media buying perspective is that the way consumers are using media will now be reflected in the way advertisers can invest in media," said Ed Erhardt, president of ESPN Global Customer Marketing and Sales. "Making the measurement more complete makes the advertising more effective, which is a win for all parties involved."
Added Joan FitzGerald, comScore VP of TV & Cross-Media Solutions, "ESPN represents an ideal collaborator as we develop this product given its established brand presence across media channels. Together with Arbitron, we look forward to shedding new light on how audiences behave in a multiplatform environment to help propel the industry forward as we seek to understand how media content and advertising across multiple platforms builds audiences."
The goal: To advance cross-platform search
Manish Bhatia, executive vice president, New Product Innovation, Arbitron Inc, said, "ESPN initiated this effort and helped bring Arbitron and comScore together with the goal of advancing cross-platform research from a special project to a standing industry-wide practice. This solution blends the depth of insights that comes from census-based data with the unduplicated persons-level information across platforms that comes from a single-source panel-it's an ideal marriage of the available data sources."
According to Artie Bulgrin, senior vice president, Research and Analytics, ESPN, Inc, "As a member of CIMM, we were impressed by the multiplatform tests conducted by Arbitron and comScore this past year. Their unique, complementary capabilities form a strong foundation to build a sustainable multiplatform measurement model with scale-a model that can serve the needs of ESPN today and the industry going forward. Our role is to get things started."
ESPN, comScore and Arbitron are planning a series of events on October 1st, 2nd and 3rd at the upcoming Advertising Week in New York to introduce the details of the initiative to the industry.
ESPN, Inc, is the world's leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring a portfolio of more than 50 multimedia sports assets. The company consists of eight 24-hour domestic television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes, ESPN 3D and the regionally focused Longhorn Network) and five HD simulcast services (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS and ESPN Deportes). Other businesses include ESPN Regional Television, ESPN International (48 networks, syndication, radio, websites, mobile, apps), ESPN Audio (broadcast, satellite, online and apps, a growing category led by ScoreCenter), ESPN.com (plus a variety of sport-, college-, and market-specific sites), ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Enterprises and espnW. Multi-screen offerings include WatchESPN (access to several ESPN networks online and via an app) and ESPN3 (live multi-screen network available online, on the go and via Xbox LIVE). Based in Bristol, Conn., ESPN is 80% owned by ABC, Inc, which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20% interest in ESPN.
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