Emerging ‘Total Media Measurement’ Must Include O2O Location Analytics

Driven by shifting consumer behavior and the imperative to bring more complete media measurement to market, comScore and Rentrak yesterday announced a merger.

The two firms will offer the ability to track and measure audience behavior on “TV, video on demand, desktop, mobile, over-the-top devices, or in the movie theater.” Nielsen is also offering what it calls “Total Audience” measurement.

Mobile devices are a kind of keystone or linchpin (whatever metaphor you prefer) for this broad audience tracking because mobile enables metrics firms to connect media and households in new ways and, hypothetically, to consumer behavior (and media like OOH) in the offline world.

As a practical matter, however, the weak link in these systems is location analytics or O2O measurement.

Mobile and location specialists such as xAd, PlaceIQ, Placed, NinthDecimal, Moasis and a couple of others will probably be on a near-term list of acquisition targets by larger ad platforms, agency holding companies or audience measurement firms such as Nielsen and comScore-Rentrak (RentScore, comTrak?).

The main reason is that the majority of transactions influenced by digital media are offline and 93% of retail still happens in stores. And now there’s a competitive imperative as well.

Very quickly O2O store visits and real-world audience behavior measurement will become a must-have capability. Mergers such as comScore-Rentrak and Verizon-AOL accelerate the need to have a more comprehensive suite of capabilities and put pressure on others to bring digital and offline consumer measurement together.

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