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ComScore and UKOM accelerate launch of tablet audience data by five months


By Jessica Davies, News Editor

May 28, 2013 | 4 min read

ComScore and the UK Online Measurement company (UKOM) are to release their first set of tablet audience data five months ahead of schedule.

The companies will release the first wave of industry-approved UK data this August – five months before the original release date – to meet the “pressing commercial need” to quantify the increasing audience shift from desktop to mobile devices, which now account for almost a third of all web traffic, according to ComScore and UKOM.

Beta data from ComScore’s Device Essentials has shown eight per cent of all web traffic came from tablets in February, with mobile devices in total accounting for almost a third of all web traffic.

From August advertisers and publishers can access data including unique visitors, page views and dwell time for tablets and mobile devices, along with other metrics including demographic profiling.

There are also plans to incorporate tablet app usage to track offline behaviours on mobile devices, but this will follow the initial wave of August data in which tablet and mobile devices will be combined.

ComScore is calling for publishers to be more active in the tagging of their mobile apps so that it has the necessary information to develop robust data for apps.

UKOM’s general manager James Smythe said no one can afford to be passive when it comes to online measurement. “The ability to measure accurately in digital these days depends on publishers tagging their content. While there are thousands tagging their websites, relatively few are tagging their apps. There won’t be any visibility on apps if publishers don’t do more tagging.

Once a critical number of people are tagging the data can then be robust enough to create a model. Fully passive involvement in measurement is just not possible anymore in digital media," he said.

The move makes ComScore’s Multiplatform Media Metrix product (MMX) the first UK online audience measurement system to integrate tablet user figures.

Publishers and agencies have welcomed the move. Time Gentry, revenue director at Guardian News & Media, said the decision to accelerate the release data for tablet measurement will provide the transparency advertisers need in what is “undoubtedly” a strong growth area for the publisher.

“The data will complement our cross-platform Audiences Not Platform strategy, enabling our agencies and advertisers to plan campaigns across our entire progressive audience: in print, online, mobile and tablet.”

MediaCom’s mobile and digital manager George Dixon said: “With this first release of data it is important that we remember the rate of change we saw for mobile, this number will quickly grow. We should already be planning how we engage with this audience creatively and strategically to deliver the most relevant campaigns to this audience.”

An average of 8.1 per cent of page views come from tablets in the UK, with 23.4 per cent coming from mobile in general, according to beta data from ComScore's Device Essentials. Newspapers are seeing a higher proportion of page views on tablets than smartphone devices, while collectively they account for over a quarter of their traffic, according to the beta data.

Newspapers see higher tablet usage, with 13.6 per cent of page views coming via tablets, rising to 18.2 per cent for the sites in the Home Lifestyles category in February. Property, entertainment and health categories were the next highest, with around 15 per cent of page views coming from tablets in February.

Meanwhile sport sites saw higher usage on smartphones than tablets accounting for 9.7 per cent and 26.3 per cent pf traffic respectively.

The Tablet Census Only data, due to be released in August, tracks tablet browsing and app usage of tagged sites. However, it differs from its desktop PC browsing reported in its Multiplatform Media Metris (MMX) which combines census data collected via tags with panel measurements.

The Census Only methodology does not have a UK specific panel of tablet users, but instead draws from ComScore’s experience from its US iPad panel.

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