Online Ad Growth Being Stunted by Conflicting Measurements

october 22, 2007  10:56 am
Online advertising is expected to generate more than $20 billion in revenue this year, but questions remains about how much clashing traffic figures will hold the market back, the New York Times reports. Visitor measurements being taken by large online publishers are coming in much higher than the numbers provided by third-party firms like ComScore and Nielsen/NetRatings. The discrepancies are caused by a number of factors, including the use of raw server data (by publishers) vs. extrapolating audience figures based on panel samplings (by third parties). In addition, while the "impression" has largely become the accepted metric used to measure an online audience -- and set ad rates -- each company uses a different methodology to calculate that number, according to the Times. "It's hugely frustrating," the president for media at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia says about the clashing numbers. "It's one of the barriers preventing us from really moving forward."