Readers: Nielsen better watch its back
They say comScore can develop into a real challenger with new ratings
February 23, 2016
Monopolies generally aren’t good for anyone but the one who holds the monopoly.
Without competition, a company will never be pushed to get better, and it won’t have to answer to its clients, who have no recourse when the company doesn’t give them what they want.
That’s why media buyers and planners have long hoped for a competitor to step up against Nielsen. For a while, they thought Arbitron could put up a fight, but Nielsen eventually bought the other major ratings company.
Now, with the recent merger of comScore and Rentrak, media people are optimistic that finally that competitor has come.
That’s according to a Media Life survey inviting readers to weigh in on comScore’s recently announced plans for crossplatform media measurement.
The question to readers: Do you think comScore can become a legitimate competitor to Nielsen?
The vast majority, 83 percent, answered yes, and they appear excited about that chance. Here’s a sampling of answers we received from readers on comScore’s prospects:
“Over time, yes. Nielsen has had this way too long, and not until competition will they make any real changes themselves.”
“Any company (in this case a company that is a virtual monopoly) that is slow to react to changing environments can be put down. See ‘blacksmiths.’”
“I feel like there’s so much value behind the Nielsen brand and it’s been used as the industry standard for so long. However, change is good! I hope comScore can compete and provide us media buyers with amazing, reliable information!”
“Client relationships, response time and delivery is key.”
“ComScore has a better grasp on the digital realm. I think they will be able to report on a more fair plain.”
“They seem to have the backing to pull it off.”
“Nielsen has had no competition for decades. ComScore evidently has the money and the will to become one.”
“Rentrak to some extent has been competing with Nielsen for some time. Now, as part of comScore, I don’t see it weakening their standing.”
“They are always proactive. Nielsen is typically reactive.”
“I do think they can, but it will take a lot longer than April.”
April is when comScore plans to roll out the new crossplatform ratings. Readers have some reservations about them.
Asked for their take on the ratings, the largest share, 42 percent, said they like the idea but didn’t know enough details to form a full opinion.
Twenty-six percent said they’re optimistic and believe the ratings will be a great addition to what Nielsen already offers.
Another 19 percent said they’re cautiously optimistic, and the remainder are pessimistic.
ComScore is sure to attract some new clients with the rollout of the new ratings. Twenty-two percent of respondents said they do not currently subscribe to comScore but are now planning to do so, while another 39 percent said they are already clients.
The rest are not clients and have no plans to change that.
Finally, Media Life asked how the new ratings, which will come out monthly, might help media people in their jobs. Responses ran the gamut, with some saying they’ll be hugely helpful to some saying not helpful at all.
Here’s another sampling of responses:
“Understanding our ratings as an overarching strategy instead of just a traditional media strategy.”
“Not as much as you’d think. Unless the client is spending money on programming in all platforms, additional data will be useless and only justify media outlets raising rates based on audiences that may not be exposed to your clients’ ad.”
“It may provide additional negotiation power. However, monthly is not overly useful.”
“More accurate accounting of the different demos we have.”
“Total audience measurement is something the industry needs. Nielsen has moved too slow.”
“Total audience measurement across all delivery systems will enable us to give more accurate data and competitively position and price our programming.”
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