Earlier today UKOM’s reappointment of Comscore as their exclusive supplier partner was announced. The new contract represents an extension to the existing partnership until March 2018 and aspires to continue thereafter to ensure the UK digital market will benefit from an impartial, holistic view of online consumer behaviour.
In reviewing our performance so far and considering the colliding forces of the fast emergence of new devices, the fragmentation of channels and the shift towards automation in advertising planning and supply, a new contract was agreed upon. The foundation of the contract ensures medium to long term stability for online audience measurement in the UK, packaged with a commitment to continuous innovation in methods and processes and backed with road map transparency to foster predictability for all stakeholders.
Multi-Platform Usage to Become Data of Record
The digital world has moved rapidly since 2012. As we wrote in a recent post about the launch of Mobile Metrix, the evolution of mobile usage has been startling. In just three years, ubiquity of access via handheld devices means that today the large majority of the UK population are now "multi-platform" users and their primary digital time is spent using mobile tech and not desktops. Recent data showed too that 80% of mobile time spent is in apps and not in browsers, a testament to the perfecting of digital service design, software advances and media product development during this period.
The shift in user behaviour has been seismic and this will only continue to accelerate, causing disruption and creating new systems of value. As a result of these factors UKOM and Comscore will ensure that by late 2015 the measure of “Multi-Platform” usage of a brand’s content shall become the data of record for our trade. From the initial multi-platform headline measures, further slicing and dicing of multi-channel reach and frequency trends will then become the analysts’ art.
Automated Trading Models
Automated trading models are now state of the art too. Programmatic advertising will be the primary delivery channel in the coming years for not only the long tail or as a pipe for distributing remnant inventory; it will become the nervous system for premium advertising as algorithms serve increasingly complex pre-bid and real-time systems that include a combination of measures such as audience targeting metrics, viewability benchmarks and non-human traffic controls.
New Platforms in the Future
UKOM-approved audience measurement data now has to be ready to evolve to cover new channels - perhaps Smart TVs and other large screen OTT devices, perhaps Smart Watches or other wearables - in fact any new channel that has growing user momentum and which offers a media opportunity for content producer and advertiser. A requirement for flexibility in the new agreement between UKOM and Comscore ensures new measurement services for new channels can be conceptualised, designed, tested, priced and rolled out in an agile manner with cross-industry technical and commercial support.
Predictability is key in any national-level measurement initiative. Working with UKOM’s Technical and Commercial Groups, a semi-annual roadmap will be published that clarifies what UKOM and Comscore see as the current areas requiring further research and development. In this way, it is anticipated that both media sellers and buyers of UKOM-approved data will be able to anticipate how new measurements will impact their business and provide new opportunities for their own commercial approach. Acknowledging that integration of UKOM-approved data directly into data management platforms will become the new norm on both buy and sell side, clarity on what is coming down the pipe and when will mark the next significant chapter in UKOM’s mission to deliver the online audience planning and trading currency for the UK market.
Both Comscore and UKOM are eager to embark on the next chapter of this partnership together and look forward to bringing the UK digital market the best in audience measurement both now and in the future.
UKOM is co-owned by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Association of Online Publishers (AOP), but balances this with equal buy-side representation from the IPA and ISBA on its Board to ensure all sides of the industry are equitably represented. Currently members of the Technical and Commercial groups include leading staff from AOP, IAB, IPA, Omnicom, Hearst, Conde Nast, Google, Facebook, Starcom, Yahoo!, Sky, BBC, Microsoft, Disney, Guardian, Time Inc, AOL, and Immediate Media. http://www.ukom.uk.net/