LAS VEGAS – While running Information Resources Inc. beginning in 1980, Gian Fulgoni had an insider’s view of the consumer research business. With comScore now measuring some 120,000 Internet-connected devices within U.S. households, he sees the future of media research requiring lots of cooperation and less reliance on panels.
The company’s technology is now in 12,000 households, each with an average of 10 Internet-connected devices—hence its measurement of media consumption on some 120,000 screens.
“What we’re finding is pretty amazing in the way that different devices are being used and how they’re being used,” Fulgoni, who is CEO and Co-Founder of comScore, says in an interview with Beet.TV during a break at CES 2017.
For example, there’s no particular loyalty to iPhones versus Android phones. “A lot of the homes have combinations, which is kind of interesting,” he says.
comScore’s also seeing “a wide variety” in the way that over-the-top devices are being used to deliver content. According to Fulgoni, the company is measuring consumption of OTT for services like Netflix. (comScore’s take on the current state of digital media is available here.)
Gone is the era when a research provider could build its own panel and measure pretty much what its clients needed. “I think those days are over,” Fulgoni says.
The change largely derives from the fragmentation of viewing consumption. “To be able to measure all of that with the granularity you need you have to have the cooperation of the content owners and the device owners to tag the content,” he adds.
So in a sense, he adds, “The providers of the research data have become dependent on the entities that they’re trying to measure. And that’s something that we’ve never seen before in the media research business. A case in point is comScore’s database populated by 52 million set-top boxes that it doesn’t own.
He believes the trend of television advertisers asking media companies for the ability to reach specific audiences beyond traditional age and gender targeting is heading in a distinct direction. “I suspect that that’s going to be in many ways the future of how advertising is bought and sold. That’s my personal view of where we’re going to go,” Fulgoni says.