Posted September 21, 2009 10:17 am by with 6 comments

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It seems that getting itself acquired by Adobe isn’t enough to keep the web analytics giant Omniture busy. It has announced today that it will partner with the Boy That Cried Wolf comScore to unify online audience metrics.

Joking aside, it looks like a peanut butter/chocolate moment for the world of online audience measurement. The partnership will see comScore combine the data it gets from a 2 million person global panel with Omniture’s–raise pinky to side of mouth–1 trillion quarterly web site transactions. According to the announcement:

This strategic partner relationship blends these two methodologies in a highly automated way to create a unified approach for audience measurement designed to enable publishers to represent themselves in a more comprehensive manner to advertisers, and for advertisers to better optimize their media planning with the benefit of more extensive media reach data.

That’s a fancy way of saying the data is going to be a lot more accurate from here on out. As Josh James, Omniture CEO and co-founder puts it, "With this relationship, Omniture and comScore will enable publishers who have rich, highly targeted audience segments to reliably demonstrate their value to advertisers and also help advertisers find these attractive consumer segments. The combined offering will provide advertisers and publishers with a common currency to measure the value of online audiences across an ever-increasing number of digital channels."

So what does this mean for publishers and advertisers? I like how Scott McDonald, SVP Research, Conde Nast Publications explains how it will help (in theory):

"For more than a decade, we have fretted about – and sometimes quarreled about — the discrepancies between the audience estimates derived from third-party panels like comScore’s and those derived from web site analytics systems like Omniture’s. This collaboration represents the most significant effort to date to harmonize the two approaches and give the industry, at last, a common and convergent set of numbers."

It’s a real kumbaya moment for the measurement world. Now we just need to see if the two ingredients can combine to make something as tasty as a Reese’s cup!

What do you think of this partnership?

  • Wow, this is pretty darned awesome. Data discrepancies are one of the big hurdles in the way of Internet marketers everywhere. Execs are already hesitant to buy into the new and overwhelming realm of measurable web strategies. Dovetailing the first-party and third-party data could potentially be the biggest step in data quality improvement in recent history. Very exciting.
    .-= Josh Braaten´s last blog ..A Website Planning Worksheet – Measuring Performance Improvements =-.

  • Andy-

    I’m happy to see your post on this announcement, and look forward to having everyone join in for a rousing rendition of kumbaya. ;^)

    It’s also interesting to note your take with the chocolate+peanut butter reference. That is the title of my blog posting today:

    You Got Your Chocolate In My Peanut Butter!-Can Web Analytics and Panel-Based Data Really Be Good Together?

    Check it out the tasty review at:


    Matt Langie
    Sr Director, Product Marketing
    .-= Matthew Langie´s last blog ..JavaScript or VISTA? =-.

    • Great minds think alike! Now, can you really make it work as well as a Reese’s cup? 😉

      Good luck!

  • Now if only comScore would stop reporting page views for “search market share” we might have a chance to get some meaningful metrics for our industry. comScore — focus on the traffic that search engines actually SEND to non-search engine sites. Thank!

    • I would imagine that the downstream metrics are something Omniture can bring to the partnership.

  • Since I used to run the Alexa Research panel (about a decade ago!) which was a predecessor to comScore’s ilk, I’m intimately familiar with publishers’ desire to have more control over their public stats. I can understand both the excitement and some potential issues around this kind of “Reese’s cup”. Is there any new tag auditing to accompany this move? Does demographics get merged as well? I’m curious to know from anyone who has already engaged comScore or Omniture about this and any more details that are emerging? And what took so long!
    .-= Jared Waxman´s last blog ..Web Analytics & Website Optimization Presentations from Jared Waxman =-.