When Arbitron and comScore yesterday announced their partnership to develop what they call the "first-ever five-platform measurement initiative," they announced ESPN as their first client (impressive). But five-platform provider ESPN actually brokered the five-platform collaboration.
The collaboration will measure changing consumption of video, audio and display content across radio, television, PCs, smartphones and tablets.
The initiative aims to provide person-level insights by integrating the complementary resources of both companies, being the the census and panel-based PC, mobile and TV set-top box measurement capabilities of comScore with the single-source multiplatform measurement capabilities of Arbitron’s Portable People Meter (PPM) technology.
ESPN has its own methods of cross-platform audience research through its ESPN XP initiative, and will collaborate on the design of this initiative as well as being its charter client. This may be the largest beta test in cross-platform history, but ESPN is that large, delivering video, audio and display content via television (both in-home and streaming), online and mobile video, PC web, mobile web, apps, tablets, digital audio and terrestrial radio.
comScore's VP of TV & Cross-Media Solutions Joan FitzGerald added, "ESPN represents an ideal collaborator as we develop this product given its established brand presence across media channels.”
"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."
comScore and Arbitron in a statement said this initiative “lays the foundation for a national-scale, continuously operating, syndicated cross-platform measurement solution” for both media and marketers. The goal is to produce common metrics across all platforms, at essentially unlimited size (hence ESPN) and with the deep granularity content providers and advertisers need (e.g., unduplicated to-the-person measurement, and tracking movement across devices).
Surprisingly, ESPN initiated the effort, according to Arbitron’s EVP of New Product Innovation Manish Bhatia, calling it “An ideal marriage of the available data sources."
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.