New Online Publishers Association White Paper Analyzes Local Online Audience Measurement
Paper Reveals Significant Variation in Local Audience Data Among Vendors and Between Markets
NEW YORK, NY -- October 24, 2005 -- The Online Publishers Association (OPA) today released a new white paper analyzing and evaluating online audience measurement products that capture and report local market data. The analysis shows that different research methods result in significantly different estimates of visitors to Web sites in local markets.
"Locally-targeted ad spending is rapidly increasing as the use of local Web sites and their services expands, making the need for accurate and detailed measurement of local online audiences critically important," said Michael Zimbalist, president of the Online Publishers Association. "The intent of this paper is to provide an overview of the current 'state of the art' in local audience measurement so that marketers can evaluate the various services more objectively."
To conduct its analysis, the OPA looked at data for three different local markets or Designated Market Areas (DMAs*) from five major measurement services. The five services evaluated included comScore Media Metrix, Nielsen//NetRatings' MegaView Local and @Plan, Scarborough Research and The Media Audit. The local markets or DMAs used in the analysis were Los Angeles, Orlando and Kansas City. The analysis included data on locally-based sites for the relevant local markets or DMAs, in addition to data on national sites such as Yahoo! and Google when there was a statistically significant local audience reported for those sites. The OPA also analyzed demographic data, such as gender and age, in each market.
The data revealed that telephone survey-based services report higher estimates of local site visitors than services that use panel-based research methods. However, while the estimated number of visitors reported varied widely between all of the services, the relative ranking of sites across methods and vendors was generally consistent. A variety factors discussed in the paper contribute to the observed differences.
The paper also includes two useful charts, one of which compares the feature sets of each of the various services, while the other focuses on the pros and cons of each. "We hope this paper will be a helpful and timely resource for both local content providers and local marketers as the local online advertising market continues to grow," said Mr. Zimbalist.
The complete Local Audience Measurement White Paper can be found on the Online Publishers Association Web site at www.online-publishers.org.
About the Online Publishers Association
Founded in June 2001, the Online Publishers Association (OPA) is an industry trade organization whose mission is to advance the interests of high-quality online publishers before the advertising community, the press, the government and the public. Members of OPA represent the standards in Internet publishing with respect to editorial quality and integrity, credibility and accountability. OPA member sites have a combined, unduplicated reach of 109.5 million visitors, or 65 percent of the total U.S. Internet audience (Source: comScore Media Metrix, July 2005 combined home/work/university data). For more information about the Online Publishers Association, visit www.online-publishers.org.
*A DMA (Designated Market Area, a trademark of Nielsen Media Research Inc.) is a group of counties in the U.S. that are covered by a specific group of television stations. The term was coined by Nielsen Media Research for their television ratings services. There are currently 210 DMAs in the U.S. The size of a DMA is determined by the number of TV households contained within that area and the percentage of the area's population in relation to the entire country. While DMAs were originally designated for TV measurement, they have become an industry standard for local advertising planning and direct marketing.
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