comScore Reveals Plans to Roll Out New Ratings

Following the completion of its merger with Rentrak, comScore laid out its aggressive plans to introduce new measurement products over the next few months.

Speaking on the company’s earnings call with analysts, CEO Serge Matta said that the company plans to produce cross-platform measurement that will include TV, OTT and digital viewing by early April, in time for the TV upfront buying season.

That data will be produced monthly and will include information about incremental reach produced by each platform.

The company also expects that by the fall, it will have a new syndicated cross-platform ratings product. Those numbers will be available daily, like the current TV ratings from Nielsen.

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The combination of comScore and Rentrak is being seen as a potentially serious competitor to Nielsen, which has ruled the TV ratings world for decades. Matta said that in visits to clients and potential clients, the key question being asked was how quickly these new products would be available. Just weeks after the merger, some were mad that products hadn’t already been rolled out, he said. Its members will represent all U.S. cable, satellite and telco operators.

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The Total Home Panel is comprised of 4,000 active devices now. That will increase to 60,000 devices by the summer and 300,000 by the end of the years. Those devises will be geographically distributed and representative of the U.S. population, Matta said.

Matta said the data will be available at the person level and that clients will be able to integrate viewing information with other data, including car registrations or voting histories, enabling media owners to create new currencies and better monetize all of the viewers they reach.

In addition to getting TV viewing information from set-top boxes, comScore is creating a Total Home Panel. In those, homes media consumption on all devices will be measured. That means it will produce ratings for all content sources, including Netflix.

Bill Livek, who continues to head Rentrak now that it’s part of comScore, announced that GroupM will be using comScore-Rentrak local TV measurement as the standard for 90% of its local buying.

GroupM is part of WPP, which is a major shareholder of comScore.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.