Andrew Harrison is talking (foot)balls (MW 22 October).
First, he asserts that internet start-ups are valued on the basis of registered users, not paying customers. In fact, they’re valued on the same basis as all other companies – profit and expectation of future profit. It’s the same logic that allows an unprofitable radio station still to be worth something to an acquirer. Sometimes we might marvel at the valuations, but generally this is because we have different expectations of the future profit of these businesses to their investors.
Second, he worries that the new online measurement panel will be too small to represent the small websites. In fact, this isn’t important; the panel is designed to bring comparative metrics to traditional media, to encourage brand advertisers to recognise online’s reach. If it can measure 80% of the market, that’ll be a big step forward.