Coalition Funds Study For Single-Source Media Measurement

The Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement, which comprises 22 media companies, distributors, agencies and advertisers, plans to spend about $1 million on a six-month research project to collect and analyze usage data from 1,000 American consumers across media including TV, radio, print, online and mobile.

The research project will be based on the TouchPoints service developed by the United Kingdom's Institute of Practitioners in Advertising. Launched in 2006 in the U.K., TouchPoints provides the country's media industry with a single source of media planning data.

TouchPoints was licensed by the New York-based Media Behavior Institute, and the study will be fielded for CIMM in the U.S. by MBI in partnership with research firm GfK Mediamark Research & Intelligence. The goal of the project is to yield a database that will let American media planners, buyers and sellers see how respondents use all types of media and how to measure unduplicated reach across all media.

"A new media world requires new tools for measurement. Developing these tools is the mission of CIMM," said CIMM chairman Colleen Fahey Rush, who also is MTV Networks executive vice president of strategic insights and research. "As we approach the first anniversary of CIMM's founding, we're pleased to be launching this innovative U.S. version of TouchPoints."

Current CIMM members are: AT&T, Belo, CBS, Carat USA, Comcast Networks, ConAgra, Discovery Communications, Gannett, GroupM, Hearst, Interpublic Group's Mediabrands, Microsoft, NBC Universal, News Corp., Omnicom Media Group, P&G, PepsiCo, Publicis Groupe, Time Warner, Unilever, Viacom and Walt Disney Co.

CIMM was formed last summer to fund research into new forms of TV audience measurement, with set-top box data and cross-platform video as its initial two focus areas.

The CIMM-commissioned TouchPoints study is scheduled to run from September 2010 to February 2011. CIMM members will have exclusive access to the resulting report for six months, after which the coalition would make it publicly available.

The project will include a sample of 1,000 men and women 18-54 drawn from respondents who have completed GfK MRI's "Survey of the American Consumer." Survey participants will use iPhones to record their media behavior at 30-minute intervals over 10-day periods; that data will be integrated with existing media-measurement services.

Consumers participating in the study will each receive $150 cash as compensation. Depending on the media they are consuming, they will be asked to specify the media (for example, in the case of TV, they'll be asked which network they're watching) or genre (in the case of magazines).