NRS to test combined online and print readership data
The National Readership Survey is to pilot hybrid print and online six-month readership estimates, with results to be available for assessment by the NRS in early 2011.
Mike Ironside: NRS chief executive
The data will be generated by combining NRS data on newspaper and magazine readership with UKOM/Nielsen data on online audience for publishers participating in NRS, as well as other online publishers such as AOL and MSN.
However, the two data sets will not just be "plonked together", but fused using a "huge amount of algorithms", according to NRS chief executive Mike Ironside.
This will give numbers such as a combined print/online audience estimate for individual titles, as well as the number of people who consume a title both in print and online.
Ironside said: "You'll be able to do schedule analysis. If you have a media schedule that covers all the quality titles and all of the online popular titles, what's the coverage of that versus the other way round?
"You'll be able to look at where your audience goes from print media in the digital arena. Because they read The Sun, does it mean they read The Sun website or do they go somewhere else?"
He added: "For the first time, the advertising industry will be provided, on a continuous basis, with a trading and planning application, giving a single-screen solutions to combine coverage and frequency for both print and online audience."
Asked how recent the data would be, Ironside said it would be updated quarterly, but the possibility of monthly updates was being investigated as part of the test.
The test data will not necessarily be published, "but if it comes out in a tenable manner, we will give people sight of we're doing".
If successful the NRS and its stakeholders – the IPA, Newspaper Publishers Association and the Periodical Publishers Association – will then decide whether to make it a permanent feature of the NRS survey.
Research company RSMB, which works on the IPA's TouchPoints and the BARB TV viewing currency, won the contract to do carry out the data fusion, after a pitch against Ipsos Mori and Nielsen.
UKOM/Nielsen was selected to supply the data for the test following a pitch against ComScore.
This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk
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