Why Publishers Need a Different Type of Audience Measurement

Today’s digital, mobile-centric consumer accesses 10-15 apps and dozens of web services using 3-4 different screens in a 24-hour period. Publishers and brands whose businesses depend on a deep understanding of the multi-screen consumer have become increasingly dissatisfied with legacy methods of media measurement which simply clock consumer behavior by single device (e.g. PC or TV) and extrapolate usage statistics using a black box methodology.

Aside from the technical shortcomings, why does this really matter? When you consider what independent measurement data is used for — media buying, media sales, market sizing, competitive intelligence, and identifying new monetization opportunities  — measuring today’s media consumption in a way that reflects the multi-screen consumer has become a business imperative. With the rapid growth of content and services designed for consumption from multiple screens by millions of users every day, the tools we currently use to measure audience must also evolve. The only way to monitor the expanding digital landscape, assess performance, identify market opportunities, and make informed decisions is to put that consumer —  and every device, app, screen and platform they touch — at the core of the audience measurement methodology.

Verto Analytics was just added to the analytics and measurement category of LUMA Partners’ graphical landscape, which categorizes significant players in the digital, mobile ecosystem. When you look at the other companies in our category, each one is measuring and reporting engagement with a mobile platform or app, whether it be downloads, time spent, or service usage from a single device or service. Different screens should not be measured with different tools (e.g. metering panels for desktop PCs, traffic measurements for mobile, surveys for smart TV users), in isolation (e.g. with different types of panels operated separately), and without the appropriate calibration of these datasets to census-level understanding of the market (device installed base, demographics) and behaviors (how the online and mobile universe behaves with different screens).

Verto’s audience measurement methodology, by comparison, captures the way that consumers operate in a daily, multi-screen environment and reliably measures the net reach of a given digital property including all of their media assets in a single-source methodology, tracking both legacy and new devices and emerging ways of engaging with content — whether it be mobile apps, streaming media, or desktop software. Our single-source approach, based on our Smart Panel and connected census-level network data sources, gives us the ability to measure 500 million devices and capture behaviors on all screens.

Verto has been able to tackle business questions that other vendors simply cannot — questions that are highly relevant in this multi-screen world:

  • What devices people are buying and using?
  • What do usage patterns look like in a 24-hour period?
  • What demographics constitute the user base of that device?
  • What type of content is being consumed on which device?
  • What are the top downloads and installed base of apps?
  • Who is buying content and apps, and how much?
  • Which are the top ranking apps, from a publisher revenue and “stickiness” perspective?
  • How does usage vary across competitors?
  • What other apps is the audience is using?
  • What is the conversion between download and long-term usage?
  • Which apps have interesting “cross-usage” patterns?
  • Which publishers have are ranking high for in-app monetization?
The list could go on indefinitely. If you want to learn more about how we measure the digital, increasingly mobile consumer and our vision for the future of audience measurement,subscribe to our newsletter or contact us.