CDAC discusses iPads, mobile audits

Goodbye Google Analytics: 58Ninety's Ted Boyd shares what was discussed at the second-ever meeting of the Audience Measurement Bureau's Canadian Digital Advisory Committee.

There was such a big turnout yesterday for the second meeting of the Canadian Digital Advisory Committee (CDAC), a 15-person body of executives that examines trends and business opportunities in interactive and emerging media for the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC), that they had to move to a bigger facility.

More than 20 industry leaders gathered at 21 St. Clair Ave., says Ted Boyd, 58Ninety Inc. CEO and partner, which shows the broad level of interest in issues of comparability in metrics and emerging platforms.

‘It’s not always clear, when new devices are released in the marketplace, how ads are being served; how impressions are being counted; what constitutes a unique visitor; is the data coming from, in some cases, a panel versus a server. So, transparency, and asking these sort of questions that lead to an apples-to-apples comparison is really important,’ Boyd tells MiC.

The time has come, says Boyd, who is the chair of CDAC, when simply using Google Analytics is no longer an acceptable form of measurement for advertisers.

‘I would argue that if publications are still providing Google Analytics, that number would be decreasing. And if buyers are acting on that information, it would probably be a good time to start asking for a unified measurement number and ideally one that’s had an audit attached to it,’ he says, citing ComScore Unified Measurement as the most ideal form of metrics, because it combines personal data (sex, age bracket, geo-location, income) with panel-based audience measurement.

One of the key big-picture discussions was about the iPad and the blurring lines between print publishers and broadcasters. More publications are entering the video realm, Boyd says, making it difficult to differentiate between a broadcaster and publisher. But at the end of the day, the audience only knows content, he says.

‘Measuring content, auditing content, and auditing the way advertising is placed around that content is, I think, at the core of how the CDAC is really trying to position itself and provide council to the ABC,’ he says.

The CDAC also looked at a prototype of a standalone mobile audit report, which would detail mobile web traffic and app usage metrics (from myriad sources), says Joan Brehl, ABC Canada’s VP/GM brand leadership and innovation. Following the announcement yesterday that ABC is partnering with mobile app maker Handmark, Brehl adds that ABC is talking to other mobile platform providers, including some in Canada.

Even though it seems like more publishers are launching digital platforms of their publications in the US than in Canada, we are still leaders in audience measurement here, says Boyd.

‘I would argue that Canada has led the way many times in the world over, in terms of how we look at measurement and how we value and use it,’ he says.