Data Usage Policy

Updated: February 2014

The purpose of this document is to state the policy for clients citing any comScore data in the public domain. The policy is as follows:

Public Citation of Data

  • Companies using comScore data for promotional purposes must have purchased said data from comScore (“clients”) unless said data have already been placed into the public domain by an authorized party. In this context, public domain includes comScore websites, comScore press releases and other public communications, and/or articles in the media. Non-clients who use comScore data are required to comply with the relevant usage guidelines as if they were clients.
  • Clients must notify and seek approval from their Client Service contact(s), who will then work with the comScore marketing team to review the request before providing clients with approval to publish any comScore data.
  • If a Client publishes incorrect data and does not comply with comScore’s request to correct the data in a timely fashion, comScore reserves the right to provide the correct data in the public domain, or to provide the correct data to parties that inquire about it.
  • comScore employees may not be quoted making promotional comments in client press releases. comScore must maintain its standing as an objective, third party measurement standard supplier and cannot appear to endorse one party over another. There may be specific exceptions in which inclusion does not jeopardize comScore’s third-party standing (e.g. industry associations such as the OPA, IAB or NAA that commission comScore research for the benefit of an entire industry or sector).
  • Regarding comScore Marketing Solutions data, the following additional requirements apply: The use of such data must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate CMS team, and must specifically be attributed to the industry team that produced it.

Style & Formatting Guidelines

  • If a client refers to a specific, standard comScore report, whether custom or syndicated, the report must be appropriately cited using the proper name of the report.
  • The comScore product/service, data periods, and geography must be properly sourced (e.g. Source: comScore Media Metrix, June 2013, U.S.). Appropriate reference to the specific reporting metrics being used (e.g. “unique visitors”) should also be cited.
  • comScore syndicated data should be referenced as provided by a digital audience measurement or ratings service, not a “survey” or “study”.
  • Clients who quote a comScore data set alongside another data source or a different comScore data set (such as standard and custom categories) must clearly distinguish the different data sets. comScore data may not be used in direct comparison to another audience measurement or web analytics platform.
  • Clients who wish to include a description of comScore in press releases may do so. The most recent comScore company information may be found in press section of our website at: www.comscore.com/companyinfo.
  • comScore corporate and business unit names are trademarks in various markets and must be referenced accordingly. This includes the proper use of capitalization, even at the beginning of a sentence or paragraph, and use of the trademark symbol “®” for comScore’s registered trademarks (e.g., "Media Metrix", "Digital Analytix", "MMX", "vCE", “UDM", "Unified Digital Measurement", and the "comScore" logo). Important: “Media Metrix®” should not be used in any content intended for a European audience; “MMX®” must be used instead. For example:
    • comScore, Inc.
    • comScore Media Metrix® (comScore MMX® in Europe)
    • comScore Digital Analytix®
    • comScore Mobile Metrix
    • comScore AdEffx

Reporting Entity Guidelines

  • Specific and accurate entity descriptions in the citation must be consistent with the labels used in comScore syndicated reports – e.g. “Match.com” vs. “Match.com Sites”, whichever appears in the report. If the client wishes to use an abbreviated version of the entity for the sake of marketing style/brevity, it may do so as long as there is an accompanying footnote indicating the specific entity being used for the claim.
  • Any custom (whether syndicated or proprietary) reports from which data are quoted must be appropriately referenced as such through footnotes. Example: *Custom research conducted for (Client Name) by comScore (Month, Year).
  • Custom Entities (denoted with an [E] in comScore’s syndicated reports) are entities featuring an aggregation of URLs or an alternate view of a property, as determined by the client. It is recommended that the specific URLs falling into this aggregation be sourced when it is reasonable to do so.
  • If a client does not wish to source all URLs that compose a Custom Entity being cited, then comScore reserves the right to share the definition with inquiring clients and news media. Data transparency is essential for publicly cited information, and interested parties should be able to vet the validity behind such public claims.
  • Because Custom Entities are client-defined and do not necessarily meet the same reporting standards required for the Ranked Category view, they should not be used for competitive comparisons. Clients may reference another entity’s audience to provide context for their Custom Entity, but it should not be done in a manner that is intended to compare the two as direct competitors.
  • If comScore Digital Analytix clients wish to source their analytics data, they must include “Digital Analytix” sourcing and they must refer to the reporting metrics in accordance with their nomenclature in that product. More specifically, clients should not refer to “unique visitor” numbers for Digital Analytix data, as comScore uses the term “unique browser” in order to differentiate from “unique visitor,” which is commonly used for audience measurement purposes. Since the two metrics are measured and calculated differently, it is important to avoid conflating the terms.

Ranking Guidelines

  • Citations of rank must mention the ranking in some context, such as a category, according to comScore’s Ranked Category view. If the client refers to a category other than as defined by comScore, the ranking must have an accompanying footnote indicating that the category is a custom-defined category by the client, and must indicate the entities included in that view.  
  • Any marketing or promotional language citing a client’s custom ranking must, in addition to indicating that it is according to their own custom ranking, not be directly attributed to comScore, though it should mention that the custom ranking was created using comScore data. (e.g. “PQR is the leading entity in XYZ category*”; footnote: *According to PQR’s custom-defined ranking based on comScore data.)
  • Any custom client rankings that are based on comScore data must use ranked entities from the comScore Ranked Category view. Clients may not selectively pick and choose which entities they wish to compare in competitive claims; the same standards should be applied to all entities being compared.
  • Unified Digital Measurement (UDM) reporting is the official public source of record for individual site data and category rankings in all markets.
  • Rankings may not be based on Unified Digital Measurement (UDM) or non-UDM sub-sets of a category (e.g. “XYZ is the #1 ranked UDM site in the Sports category” when it is ranked #5 overall in the category).
  • Clients may publicly refer to their syndicated Multi-Platform audience estimates and rankings.  Data may be reported either at the aggregate level or for individual media channels (i.e. Total Digital Population or Desktop, Mobile), with appropriate sourcing of the applicable comScore product.

Data Trending Guidelines

  • Methodological enhancements are an ongoing reality in audience measurement that may have an impact on trended information. In most cases, these changes have minimal impact, but in some cases they may be more significant. Since comScore does not re-state previously released data, any published data from a prior reporting period should be considered the data of record.
  • Clients may refer to trends that include some element of change that is inorganic; however, they are cautioned to be judicious with such claims when the impact may be significant. If asked by news media as to the validity of the claims, comScore will be transparent about factors that may have caused an inorganic increase or decrease.
  • Clients should avoid making claims of inorganic growth (whether referring to rates of growth or moves within a ranking) that are primarily attributable to the adoption of the UDM methodology, wherever possible. However, in some cases clients will only be able to compare UDM to non-UDM data when referring to growth trends. Such instances are permitted, provided that the growth trend is accompanied by a footnote indicating the following: “[Entity] transitioned to comScore’s UDM methodology in [date]. Data trend is based on a comparison of UDM to [non/partial] UDM data and may include inorganic growth due to the change in methodology.”
  • Clients are cautioned to be careful when reporting trends going back to any applicable Beta period as the comparisons may not be methodologically consistent. Accordingly, such references should include sourcing indicating the referenced time periods that are from Beta reporting.