comScore, the research company that measures the digital world, is changing its methodology and reporting on the audience of Hispanic digital properties.
Until now audience measurement for US Hispanic web properties used to be a separate dataset, outside of the US general market dataset, based on comScore’s Hispanic panel. Starting with the new report in early August, the US Hispanic audience will be reported alongside the US general market dataset, Josh Chasin, Chief Research Officer of comScore, and Alex Banks, Managing Director for Latin America tell Portada in an exclusive interview.
The change is the result of consultations between comScore and AHAA (Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies) taskforce, led by Marla Skiko, SVP, Director of Digital Innovation at SMG Multicultural, and the Hispanic chapter of the Internet Advertising Bureau led by Mark Lopez, COO of Terra. “We at AHAA do support comScore's efforts to improve Hispanic measurement and have worked with them during the process as they eliminate the Hispanic stand alone panel and work to represent Hispanics accurately within the total panel”, says Marla Skiko.
The total audience number for Hispanic web properties is larger, or at least as large, as their Hispanic audience, as many sites have visitors that are not Hispanics. comScore will break down the Total Audience metrics for Hispanic web properties (unique users, page views etc…) in Hispanic Audience and non-Hispanic Audience. comScore is not eliminating its Hispanic panel.
“The only thing that is changing is that the activity seen from these panelists will be reported within the US General Market data set. At this current time, USH is a separate data set as if it were a separate country. In the near future, there will now be a USH audience segment that users of our US General Market data can select in order to see all the behavior of the USH audience.”
Depending on the month, the US Hispanic panel consists of 25,000 to 30,000 individuals, and the US general market panel between 200,000 and 230,000.
Separately, in May comScore increased the weighting of Spanish-language preferred and bilingual Internet users. As a result there were several Digital Media properties targeting Hispanics among the top 100 U.S. Digital Media properties (previously there only was Univision.com ranked 55 in the March 2009 ComScore release). The May 2009 report of top 100 websites visited by U.S. Hispanics included the following digital media properties that mostly follow Spanish-speaking audiences (Univision, ranked 18, Hi5 (31), Terra – Telefonica (44), Batanga (61), Televisa Digital Sites (96)). The increased weighting of Spanish-language preferred and bilingual Internet users has been implemented already and will continue to be reflected within the new US Hispanic reporting in early August.
Other changes in Methodology in Latin America and U.S. Hispanic
comScore will also roll out its Media Metrix 360 'panel-centric hybrid' solution for digital audience measurement in Latin America and the U.S. Hispanic market. The new approach will be reflected in the US dataset in August, while Latin American and other international audiences will be measured with the 'panel-centric hybrid' approach in late 2009 and early 2010.
Josh Chasin, Chief Research Officer at comScore, tells Portada that there are essentially two ways of measuring online audiences; one panel-centric, through person-oriented measurement panels, the other approach is site-centric, consisting of data obtained by publishers putting tags on their websites to register unique visitors, page views etc… Media Metrix 360 hybrid data will factor in the audiences measured by both methods.
Currently, almost half of the Latin American online audience is being excluded from comScore’s audience measurement, according to Alex Banks, Managing Director of comScore Latin America. “For instance in Mexico, we estimate that nearly 50% of the total online audience is below 15 years of age and/or accesses the Internet only from a shared-access environment (e.g. Internet cafes, public libraries etc.). The 360 measurement will allow for better measurement of Internet cafes and other shared-use environments, and thus will result in a larger audience number, vs. the current panel-centric approach, especially for multimedia websites (e.g. gaming sites) and other content that is typically consumed in a shared-access environment (e.g. sports sites) compared with, for instance, e-commerce sites (e.g. online stock brokerage).
The hybrid panel- and site- centric measurement could also make a difference for the measurement of USH digital properties as Hispanics tend to access the Internet more through a shared-access environment than their general market counterparts.