CIMM Teams with Arbitron, comScore to Measure Three-Screen Viewership

The Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM)--a group that is backed by a number of TV programmers, media agencies and advertisers (its members are AT&T, Belo, CBS, Carat USA, Comcast, 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 The Walt Disney Company) and that bills itself as promoting innovation in audience measurement for TV and cross-platform video--on Friday announced two independent "proof-of-concept" pilot tests to measure "three-screen" (i.e. TV, Internet and mobile) viewing behavior. According to CIMM, the tests will represent the first time that mobile Internet usage--including mobile video and apps--has been measured in "single source" cross-platform studies (note: single source measurement refers to the ability to understand usage across different media for the same individuals and households).

CIMM is partnering on the tests, which will study viewership of both programming and advertising, with Arbitron and comScore, respectively:

  • The Arbitron test will see the latter recruiting a sample of three-screen users from its panel of approximately 70,000 people who already carry a Portable People Meter (PPM) device to measure radio listening and TV viewing both in-home and out-of-home. Online and mobile Internet behavior will be captured using software meters that Arbitron acquired from Integrated Media Measurement, Inc. (IMMI) last year.
  • The comScore test, meanwhile, will see that company recruiting a sample of three-screen users from its 25,000-member opt-in cross-platform multiscreen consumer research panel. comScore will collect online and mobile measurement using its in-house technology, CIMM says, and will combine it with set-top box viewing data and additional mobile Internet usage data from mobile server logs.

According to CIMM, both tests will enlist consumers who access media across multiple screens, and will develop cross-platform metrics, such as unduplicated reach and frequency of media across screens. Work on the tests is slated to begin immediately, with results being made available in the second half of 2011. "These innovative, small-scale pilot tests will independently explore different methodologies to capture all three-screen media usage for selected programming and advertising campaigns," CIMM managing director, Jane Clarke, said in a prepared statement. "Aside from testing the methodologies, we're also hoping to gain deeper insights into the way that consumers are using media across three-screens." Added Arbitron's EVP of US media services, Sean Creamer: "Arbitron has unique three-screen, single-source measurement capabilities through its PPM technology and panels. By incorporating the IMMI Internet and mobile meters in this pilot, we can directly link media usage across multiple platforms to the individuals and to their rich set of demographic characteristics. We believe our three-screen measurement solution and the outcome of this pilot will influence the future direction of cross-platform media planning and buying. We thank the members of CIMM for their support of Arbitron and its cross-platform capabilities." And added comScore's VP of television sales and business development, Joan Fitzgerald: "We are very excited about the opportunity to help CIMM explore how consumers use media across multiple screens. As consumers combine their TV viewing and Internet usage with media consumption from an increasing array of mobile devices, it becomes more important for advertisers, agencies and media companies to understand their total audience and how to reach them. The Multi-Screen Consumer Panel is designed to deliver these important insights."

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