Posted by: Marshall Sponder | June 23, 2008

People trusting ComScore numbers less

According to a post cited by KD Paine ( Being off by the population of Texas is not a rounding error, Part 2), which cites CNetnew comScore figures suggest that fewer people are believing comScore.

According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s CEO, Randall Rothenberg, these companies are “still relying on panels, a media-measurement technique invented for the radio industry exactly seven decades ago, to quantify the Internet“.

Wait a minute, they’re using panels? Does everyone know about this? Do the people who use their numbers know about this?

For so many people in the advertising business and beyond, who have their prejudices too, it is the headline that matters. They present in headlines. They talk about themselves in headlines. They need news.

However, as “off” as these numbers are/aren’t, as I mentioned in the Understanding Customers Through Data: Web Analytics, Audience and Advertising Measurement webcast last week, the actual value of these services is not in their accuracy.  The value of ComScore and Nielsen, and other Panel data, is as a rallying point from for which subscribers of this data, who accept it’s validity, can have a conversation about the data, which moves business forward.

I don’t think we’ll ever get accuracy out of Panel Data – unless we have a Panel approaching the size of the actual Internet population (if almost everyone ran the metering software, in other words – and in all locations).

Save that, the real value of this stuff is in the Conversations it facilitates.

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