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Media Intelligence : 2008 Intelligence
For information on your sector go to www.mediabiznet.com.au PETER CORNELIUS Managing Director, Nielsen Media Research Have there been any notable developments in measurement over the past 12 months? The only development is an increasing focus in audience measurement in general. Looking at technological change and the growth of podcasts and other devices, increasingly the industry overall is keen to understand the dynamics of these new media, how they are performing and how to measure them. There is a direct fl owon from new technologies and new development – the challenge then is how we measure them. How are Nielsen keeping up with the rapid growth, especially coming from digital? That is the challenge, in a media measurement sense. There are so many new things being talked about, that you need to take time out and work out what you are going to do. You do, to an extent, have to wait until they get to some degree of substance – some critical mass – before you can really measure them because there are so many different things on the go. You do need to prioritise and identify what needs to be measured, and then once you have identifi ed what that is, how you are going to do it. In some cases, the traditional survey methodologies of going out and talking to X number of people in the marketplace, for some of these niche areas, those methods just aren’t effi cient because it really doesn’t give you the critical mass. What are agencies asking for in terms of measurement? They are asking “How much is it going to cost me, because I don’t have much money to spend?”Every time there is a question about measurement and how it is going to be done, there then needs to be a corresponding question about how much it is going to cost to measure. The industry needs to be able to build a business case to support that and in some cases it proves very diffi cult. We get approaches from agencies wanting to measure certain media in certain ways, and we get approaches from new media companies wanting to have their media measured. They recognise, in talking to the marketplace, that everybody is saying that you need critical mass, and you need to have something independent or advertisers won’t buy it. What is the biggest challenge facing measurement? It is diffi cult to say just one thing, but the increasing fragmentation of media is obviously growing. To me, the mainstream media are still the main show in town, but at the same time as an industry,we need to look at and evaluate the new media platforms that are out there. As I said, the biggest single issue, is that in many cases they aren’t at a level of critical mass where you can economically do that. You then have to start thinking of some diff erent ways of using technology to measure the new technology. It is catch-22 really. “ Mainstream media are still the main show in town, but at the same time as an industry, we need to look at and evalu- ate the new media platforms that are out there.” – Peter Cornelius, Managing Director, Nielsen Media Research How long does it take something to get to that point of critical mass before it can be measured? Well it all depends on penetration, really. It depends on how many people are using it. You can certainly look at different devices that give you an idea about how people may be consuming a certain technology, but that doesn’t necessarily tell you how many people in the universe are using that technology. What it is not telling you is how many diff erent types of people, and their psychographics and their demographics and all the other criteria that may be used. It is trying to understand the dynamics of each of the media and how they work together because no one is necessarily consuming just one medium, they are exposed to all sorts of diff erent media and in many cases consuming at the same time. MEDIA Trends + Strategy 23