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Arbitron, ComScore to Collaborate on Cross-Platform Measurement

Initiative aims to report engagement with video, audio and display content on radio, TV, PCs, smartphones and tablets

Arbitron has been working on a cross-platform measurement system for awhile, something eagerly anticipated by radio owners and their advertisers. Now that process has taken a visible next step.

Arbitron Inc. and market researcher comScore are developing what they say is the first methodology to measure video, audio and display content across five platforms: radio, television, PCs, smartphones and tablets.

ESPN is the first client and a part of the initiative, which follows successful multiplatform tests conducted by Arbitron and comScore this past year.

This initiative would provide persons-level insights by integrating the resources of the census data and panel-based PC, mobile and TV set-top box measurement capabilities of comScore along with enhanced, single-source, multiplatform measurement capabilities of the Arbitron Portable People Meter.

ESPN has developed and adopted cross-platform audience research through its ESPN XP initiative. The companies involved say the size and scope of the project are driven by the multiplatform measurement requirements of ESPN, which delivers video, audio and display content via television (both in-home and out-of-home), online and mobile video, PC web, mobile web, apps, tablets, digital audio and terrestrial radio.

“The real value to this project from a media buying perspective is that the way consumers are using media will now be reflected in the way advertisers can invest in media,” said Ed Erhardt, president of ESPN Global Customer Marketing and Sales. “Making the measurement more complete makes the advertising more effective.”

The project lays the foundation for national-scale, continuously operating, syndicated cross-platform measurement for the media and marketing industries. The goal is to produce common metrics across all platforms at the scale and granularity required by both content providers and advertisers along with demonstrating the audience reach and duplication of each media platform.

Current plans are to develop a service offering that would be available to all media companies, advertisers and advertising agencies that want to understand and measure the audience size, composition and impact of media content and marketing efforts as listened to and viewed across multiple platforms.