Media looks for ways to better measure fragmented audience

As media platforms proliferate, media companies are looking for better ways to measure their audience:

“We have Omniture data, comScore, Nielsen, some of our internal metrics that we look at — they don’t match,” Wert said.

Hampering the effort are audiences splintering into ever smaller shards as they use an array of outlets and platforms — including websites, mobile devices, print and broadcast…

The tinier the pieces the more precious each becomes. It’s more important than ever for traditional media looking to cover the costs of producing content to deliver to marketers as much information as possible about who’s watching, reading and listening.

Arguably, technology has made the measurement systems better than ever. But the result is counterintuitive: Consumers are followed more closely but the numbers don’t always add up, and it’s not clear how to put a value on those numbers…

Nielsen’s Patrick Dineen, senior vice president of local television audience measurement, said it’s “wildly inappropriate” to try to track audiences through one medium. Kevin Gallagher, executive vice president and local director at Starcom, said his firm has replaced talk of traditional media planning with something that tracks targeted consumers’ daily interaction with media.

Getting the right numbers means media companies will be able to more accurately gauge advertising, particularly target audiences, and then make more money. Solving these issues and appropriately valuing these media interactions will be a huge issue moving forward and whoever can do it first or do it best could have an advantage.

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