RealTime IT News

Arbitron, comScore Target Local Internet Markets

Arbitron Inc. and comScore Networks, Inc., of Reston, Va., are collaborating in an effort to develop Internet measurement services for local media. localScore is a new service developed by comScore to measure audiences of local media Web sites in 78 Designated Market Areas (DMA(R)) representing the majority of the U.S. population. localScore also correlates consumer Web usage with offline product and service sales in each local market.

The New York-based Arbitron will meet with management of local media outlets, including radio, TV, cable, newspapers, Internet content providers and advertising agencies to enlist support for the new metrics.

"We see the potential for a substantial local advertising market on the Internet, as has long existed in traditional media," said Russ Fradin, vice president of corporate development for comScore. "Local market Web sites provide significant value because advertisers can target visitors in cities where they are most likely to buy and where advertisers' products are distributed. Further, local Web site advertising can increase the impact of local buys across all types of media."

The local market Web site metrics produced by comScore are based on the company's Global Network, which continuously and "confidentially" captures the complete Internet activity of over 1.5 million representative, opt-in Internet users. With large samples across key audience segments and U.S. local markets, comScore's Global Network delivers a wealth of information about audience size, behavior and demographic composition. Information about offline consumer activity is based on U.S. government-produced data, which comScore integrates with online behavior using proprietary data modeling algorithms.

"Our intent is to provide advertisers, agencies and sellers of advertising on local media Web sites with information needed to place the appropriate value on available inventory," said Bill Rose, vice president and general manager for Arbitron Webcast Services. "These new services would offer compelling reasons for advertisers to use media Web sites in their local marketing efforts, by demonstrating the size, composition and local purchasing power of Web site visitors living in dozens of major markets."

Arbitron's core businesses are measuring network and local market radio audiences across the United States; surveying the retail, media and product patterns of local market consumers; and providing application software used for analyzing media audience and marketing information data. Arbitron Webcast Services measures the audiences of audio and video content on the Internet, commonly known as webcasts. The company is developing the Portable People Meter, a new technology for radio, TV and cable ratings.

Arbitron's marketing and business units are supported by a research and technology organization located in Columbia, Md. Through its Scarborough Research joint venture with VNU Media Measurement & Information, Arbitron also provides media and marketing research services to the television, magazine, newspaper and online industries.

"Our industry has a critical need to better understand local Web site dynamics and their impact on offline behavior. The combination of comScore's revolutionary technology and Arbitron's unmatched industry knowledge is poised to meet this need," added Rose.

comScore Networks provides the Internet business community with data-based infrastructure services designed to help improve sales and marketing effectiveness. Through its patent-pending Customer Knowledge Platform, comScore provides a confidentially captured, 360-degree view of the surfing behavior of more than 1.5 million opt-in Internet users, while simultaneously capturing detailed information on their online and offline buying.