The dream of every client and media agency is simple: one metric that works across every single screen—television, tablet, smartphone, computer. But, either ironically or inevitably, depending on who you talk to, high-tech means low accuracy.
“There’s a limited set of channels on television,” Nielsen’s Andrew Feigenson, svp, digital client service, told Adweek. “When you move to the digital landscape and you’re dealing with a lot of long-tail content and very personalized viewing patterns, the panels become a lot more difficult.” (The online panel is orders of magnitude larger. A partnership with Facebook gives Nielsen’s Web ratings “a hundreds-of-millions-of-persons sample size.”)
One publisher, who asked to be quoted anonymously because negotiations were still going on, said that he was having to deal with a client that wanted to buy guarantees againstcomScore data—which, he said, ignored up to 30 percent of his viewership. “What’s worse is they’re going to make us sell to them based on adults 18-24, but they’re going to negotiate as though it was a broad household demo. They’re going to negotiate down to eight bucks and then say, ‘OK, great, we want that overlay.’” In other words, buyers almost want demo guarantees for free.
On TV, the major adult age demos are measured in intervals of at least 20 years because the smaller the group, the harder to measure accurately. That’s also true here, but expectations are different.
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