CRE To Study Ways To Measure Digital Audiences

The Council for Research Excellence (CRE), a broad group of senior research professionals from throughout the media and advertising industries dedicated to advancing the knowledge and practice of audience measurement methodology, announced today that it is issuing a request for proposal (RFP) to industry researchers for a project to advance digital audience measurement.

The objective of the project is to examine how various digital publishers capture and maintain user data, and to understand the role this data can play in supplementing research-panel data to augment audience measurement. The CRE hopes to assess current data-collection practices as well as best practices to strengthen “hybrid” (panel-based/server-based) digital audience measurement. No confidential or proprietary information is being sought for this effort.

To date, the CRE has completed several major studies, including  the Video Consumer Mapping Study, conducted in 2008, involving in-person, computer-assisted observation of media consumption; a Set-Top Box Study, examining the state of set-top box-based audience research; a Non-Response Bias Study, exploring the impact and correlates of non-response to Nielsen surveys; a study of media-related universe estimates; and “data-mining” from the Video Consumer Mapping Study, revealing consumers’ habits immediately before, during and after TV commercials, and their media consumption habits immediately prior to shopping, among other topics.

“We know panel-based approaches provide representative demographics but are lacking in complete audience coverage,” said Dan Murphy, SVP, interactive research at Univision Interactive Media and chairman of the CRE’s Digital Committee, for which this marks the first project. “Conversely, we know server-based approaches effectively fill in the audience blind-spots but lack demographics. Combining these approaches helps achieve the best of both worlds and helps toward the objective of giving advertisers and publishers greater confidence in exposure measurement.”

The deadline for submissions in response to the RFP is Feb. 24, with an anticipated award date of March 24. The CRE expects to undertake the project within the second quarter of 2011.

The RFP can be found here.

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