UKOM’s objective is to set and oversee the delivery of a credible industry standard for digital audience measurement. That means quantifying audiences in terms of people, not browsers or machines.
The industry needs people measurement because that's the benchmark required by brand advertisers, who want to know how many people they reach and how often, across all possible advertising media. Digital traditionally does machine measurement well, but with the explosion in the number of IP devices we have access to, measuring machines alone is no longer a reasonable proxy for measuring people.
We establish measurement standards where people and their machines meet: decoding the mass of computer-generated data with the help of nationally-representative surveys and panels, to provide the truest possible digital audience measures.
UK Online Measurement Company Ltd (UKOM) was created in 2009 to fulfil this mandate for the UK advertising industry, and initially worked with Nielsen Online for a three-year term before a competitive re-pitch in 2011 resulted in an industry decision to appoint comScore as sole supplier from January 2013.
A more adventurous approach to measuring new platforms that could allow the industry to learn, quantify and earn returns from their innovation quickly, not years later.
The development of UKOM's current mandate and services began in late 2011, when the Board conducted a customer consultation on the industry’s measurement expectations over the next five years. One of the principal outcomes of this consultation was that the “JIC model” of a fixed and technically-driven approach to online measurement that was the guiding principle of UKOM’s first contract was at odds with the disruptive and ever evolving models of the Net.
There was a need for a system that could observe and quantify rapidly changing consumer behaviour, without restricting how content publishers should reach those consumers in order to be measured. This meant a little more reliance on server data and a little less on panels, without losing the fundamental principle of people-based measurement. It also meant a more adventurous approach to measuring new platforms that could allow the industry to learn, quantify and earn returns from their innovation quickly.
Following a five-way pitch that included all the world leading online audience measurement providers, and advice from across the industry, UKOM made the decision to appoint comScore from 2013 onwards. The period between making this decision and seeing UKOM-approved data would take a whole year, involving intensive technical and commercial oversight, and the implementation of a multi-million pound series of developments to comScore services.
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