comScore Releases Cross-Platform Measurement Solution; Arms Race with Nielsen Is On

By Adam Flomenbaum 

On Monday, The New York Times reported that comScore would this week release its cross-platform measurement solution. Until now, comScore has only measured video audiences on computers – now, it will take into account mobile and other digital devices.

Nielsen is still the go-to for linear and video on demand ratings, but networks will certainly begin to put together package deals for advertisers based on the new comScore numbers.

Writes Emily Steel for The Times:

“ComScore’s initial research revealed that by counting the number of people watching video on mobile and other digital devices beyond a computer, the total digital viewership for television networks increased by a range of 8 percent to as much as 30 percent.”

Steel goes on to explain that comScore is “seeking to provide an alternative to Nielsen, the industry’s longtime leading provider of television ratings, which has faced criticism for not keeping pace with tracking new technologies for television watching.”

Although the criticism of Nielsen is real, comScore’s new numbers cannot serve as a complete alternative to Nielsen’s. If Nielsen’s Twitter TV Ratings charts are any indication, live events – from third-rate award shows to the Super Bowl – are still a huge driver of linear tune-ins. Then, include Shondaland, ‘The Walking Dead,’ and ‘Pretty Little Liars,’ and live viewership is still performing quite well, commanding increasingly high ad rates.

But, that 8 percent to 30 percent increase in viewership that comScore’s numbers captures, cannot be taken lightly; Nielsen understands this too. In October, we wrote about Nielsen’s partnership with Adobe to provide a cross-platform measurement solution of its own. It will be interesting to see how this arms race between two measurement giants plays out.